Beijing, 6 March 2023 (TDI):  On Monday, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili said that the resumption of Chinese domestic tourism is the final step for the recovery of global tourism from the pandemic.

He praised China’s support for tourism during the pandemic, citing strengthened financial support from the Chinese government to affected enterprises in May 2021.

He believed that lifting China’s travel restrictions will provide an extra boost of confidence in travel and help revive the industry.

Further, he noted, “China is the world’s largest tourism source market in 2019, with Chinese tourists spending a collective $255 billion on international travel in the same year.”

Thus, at the beginning of this year, the country optimized travel requirements on international flights, and it recorded a surge in ticket bookings during the Spring Festival holiday.

The UNWTO Secretary-General saw the return of Chinese tourists as the “final piece” needed for tourism’s recovery.

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He foresaw that “destinations with gastronomy, culture, and rural elements will benefit from the return of Chinese tourists, who are interested in authentic experiences and exploring lesser-known places.

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In addition, Chinese Tourism Academy data shows that the tourism market is shifting to rural destinations in recent years as people look for tourism spots with minimum population density.

Therefore, China’s reopening will be felt far beyond the tourism sector, according to Pololikashvili. He stressed that the airline companies are also getting a boost from China’s comeback.

Also, “the significance of China to global tourism is widely recognized and appreciated,” he added.

Read more: China to provide training for foreign astronauts

It is interesting to note that the global airline industry is expected to tip into profitability in 2023, with expected revenue of $779 billion, according to International Air Transport Association data. This will drastically strengthen China’s comeback.

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