China re-opens today. Is this the billion dollar kick the global luxury travel industry has been waiting for?

As China re-opens today, many are saying this is the billion dollar catalyst for the recovery of the global luxury travel industry worldwide.

The reopening of China’s tourism industry after a three year hiatus is expected to have a significant and very positive impact on the luxury travel industry globally. 

According to The World Tourism Organisation, the Chinese luxury travel marketing could inject more than $200 billion into international tourism, much of the money coming from high net worth individuals travelling outside of China to buy luxury goods.

This weekend Bejing is removing the last of the strict covid measures, making the rest of the world accessible again to hundreds of thousands of cashed up Chinese travellers keen to spend big on luxury travel experiences.

Since early 2020 the Chinese were unable to travel due to that country’s zero-covid restrictions that included strict quarantines for arrivals, lockdowns and mass-testing.

China is finally opening after almost three years without travel.

Whilst the Chinese are expected to travel far and wide, like other countries during 2022, it could take some time for the large back log of visas to be processed, meaning the first half of the year is likely to be slower than the second half in terms of people travelling out of China to other countries.

Not withstanding logistical challenges, the demand for luxury travel in China is expected to boom in 2023, and it is hoped this will then drive growth in the high end travel industry, and lead to the development of more and more high-end travel options from multiple global destinations as well as China.

Prior to the pandemic, luxury travel from China was very strong. In 2019, 155m Chinese people travelled abroad and spent over $250 billion on travel within that year alone.

taxi passing harrods london
London is expected to be a popular first destination for the Chinese, as they search for luxury goods at stores like Harrods.

Some of the most popular destinations for high-end travel in 2019 from China included European cities like Paris, London, and Rome, as well as tropical beach destinations including Bali and the Maldives. 

In addition, Chinese tourists were also drawn to destinations with rich cultural histories, such as Japan and South Korea. With Japan already receiving a huge influx of travellers, having only opened in October 2022, it could become the most sough after destination this year if the Chinese jump on board.

The Maldives was popular amongst wealthy Chinese prior to the lockdown.

As the demand for luxury travel from China grows in 2023, destinations around the world will be vying to attract these high spending travellers by offering deals and experiences within a range of luxurious accommodations and experiences. 

From luxurious hotels and resorts to exclusive tours and activities, these destinations will already be working to provide Chinese travelers with the ultimate vacation experience.

China’s Forbidden City

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