This year, China's tourism industry has nearly returned to its pre-pandemic strength. The China Tourism Academy forecasts that tourism revenues will hit 5.2 trillion yuan ($735 billion) by the end of the year, reaching 91% of 2019's figures. The recovery is fueled by strong domestic demand, with a significant increase expected in 2024.

China's Tourism Revival Soars, Reaching Near Pre-Pandemic Heights in 2023
(Photo : Najman Husaini from Pexels)

China's Tourism Industry Nears Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2023

China's tourism sector is making a big comeback, nearly reaching its performance before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

According to the Global Times, the China Tourism Academy expects that by the end of 2023, tourism will bring in about 5.2 trillion yuan ($735 billion). This is 91 percent of what it earned in 2019. Experts believe that in 2024 the industry might earn even more, possibly over 5.9 trillion yuan, if the economy stays strong and families have more money to spend.

After COVID-19 restrictions were lifted about a year ago, China's tourism grew fast. The spring and summer travel seasons saw a lot of people traveling. Most Chinese tourists prefer to explore places within their own country, feeling safer staying close to home. This trend helped the local tourism industry a lot. Airports and train stations are now busier, and tickets for popular spots are hard to get. 

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The news source also shared that during the Golden Week holidays in late September to early October, the tourism revenue was 753.5 billion yuan, a little more than in 2019. The number of trips people made in China increased by 4.1 percent to 826 million.

The increase in travel is due to people's strong desire to go out after the pandemic and feel safer about it. Most of the recovery in tourism in China is from local travelers, as fewer tourists are coming from other countries. Tourism is important for China's economy and jobs, making up about 11 percent of the country's total economic output in 2018 and 2019.

For 2024, train tickets and hotel bookings for the New Year's Day holidays are already in high demand. The government is trying new things to attract more tourists from other countries. For example, they have started a 12-month trial of visa-free travel for people from certain countries like Germany, France, and Malaysia. 

This lets them visit China without a visa for up to 15 days. This is part of China's plan to open up more and improve its tourism industry. The number of tourists coming to China has grown since this policy began.

Sanya in China Recognized for Innovative Tourism in 2023

The China Tourism Academy (CTA) praised Sanya, a popular seaside spot in China, for its creative ways of boosting tourism. This honor was given at the 2023 China Tourism Group Development Forum in Shanghai. The CTA, started in 2008, leads in developing tourism policies in China and encourages new ideas in the sector.

Sanya, located on the southern end of Hainan Island in China, has made great strides in tourism thanks to its entrepreneurial spirit. In 2020, the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board was created to market Sanya worldwide. Renamed the Sanya Tourism Board in 2023, this group uses market research and events like festivals to grow tourism.

The South China Morning Post reported that the board works with local businesses, hotels, restaurants, and transport services to attract more visitors. It focuses on professional marketing and data analysis to understand what tourists want. This approach helps Sanya compete globally in tourism.

Albert Yip, head of the Sanya Tourism Board, leads a team with global experience. This team has boosted tourism by adding new international transport routes, partnering with top travel agencies, and getting more attention through international media.

Like the "Wonderland Sanya" campaign, Sanya's efforts have successfully drawn younger tourists. The city hosts various events, from music and coffee festivals to art shows, making it an exciting destination.

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