China: WTTC reports fast recovery
New research has revealed that China's Travel & Tourism sector's contribution to GDP could reach CNY 11 trillion this year, just 5.2% below pre-pandemic levels
In 2019, before the pandemic struck, China's travel and tourism sector contributed CNY 11.5 trillion to GDP (11.6% of the country's economy).
However, in 2020 the pandemic had a major impact on the sector and Travel & Tourism's contribution to the Chinese economy fell by a staggering 59.9%, to CNY 4.6 trillion.
The latest research from the world tourism body shows that as the national economy begins to recover, the sector's contribution to the country's economy and jobs could reach almost pre-pandemic levels this year.
WTTC research shows that if China, with more than 87% of its population already fully vaccinated, begins to ease restrictions throughout the year, the sector's contribution to GDP could reach CNY 11 trillion in 2022, just a 5.2% below pre-pandemic levels.
After a loss of more than 16 million jobs in 2020, when Travel & Tourism companies in China suffered severe losses due to severe travel restrictions and full border closures, most of these could be recovered if the The country continues to focus on its Travel & Tourism sector. and in particular the reopening of its borders to international visitors.
The sector could recover more than 14 million jobs to reach almost 81 million jobs in 2022, just 1.7% below 2019 levels.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “China is a key player in the global travel and tourism sector. It has done well to boost domestic tourism during the pandemic, but international travel has ground to a halt. The benefits of opening borders represent a boost in both economic wealth and employment.
“Our latest research shows that 2022 could bring a strong recovery for travel and tourism globally, with pent-up demand and vaccination rates driving the recovery of this economically driving sector.
“Millions of livelihoods depend on a thriving travel and tourism sector, but there is still work to be done if we are to achieve a full economic recovery and bring back all the jobs that were lost.”
A look at the Asia Pacific region
WTTC research shows that the forecast for the Asia Pacific region could be similarly positive, with the region's travel and tourism sector also approaching pre-pandemic levels this year.
According to the research, the sector's contribution to the region's GDP could reach CNY 20 trillion ($2.9 trillion), close to pre-pandemic levels, while employment could reach more than 190 million. jobs, exceeding the figures for 2019 and providing five million additional jobs to the population. sector.
To approach pre-pandemic levels this year, the WTTC says the Chinese government and governments around the world must continue to focus on vaccine rollout and boosting, allowing fully vaccinated travelers to move freely. without the need to be tested.
The world tourism body is also urging governments to ditch the patchwork of restrictions and enable international travel using digital solutions that allow travelers to prove their status in a quick, simple and secure way.