Return of Chinese tourists to accelerate global tourism recovery


Australia and New Zealand will be among the first countries to benefit from the reopening of China’s borders and the anticipated return of Chinese tourists, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC, said it was “wonderful that the world would be able to open its arms and welcome Chinese visitors again”.

“We all know that our sector was severely damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“But the good news is that travel and tourism are going to bounce back and will grow over the next 10 years almost double the rate of global gross domestic product.”

In 2019, Chinese visitor spending amounted to 15 per cent of the global total at US$253 billion, according to WTTC, with Simpson saying there would be a degree of “revenge travel” for those unable to leave their country for the last three years.

“What we tend to see when people reopen their borders post-pandemic is that you have a lot of pent-up demand for travel,” she said.

Europe, the US, the Maldives and Mauritius would also be among the top destinations for Chinese tourists, according to the WTTC.