The Chinese tourism tsunami is late

Half a year after China’s reopening, most tourism spending remains trapped at home

Jun 12, 2023

China’s “revenge travel” has mostly happened at home so far. Bottlenecks in ramping up international flights are a major factor holding back the globe-trotting Chinese. And it might take a while - significantly longer than many tourism-dependent businesses had initially hoped - for that to return to normal.

Key takeaways

  • The country’s domestic travel has bounced back strongly in 2023, after China scrapped its strict pandemic restrictions late last year;
  • But Chinese tourists are yet to fly out of the country en masse, after almost three years of isolation - in April, international air passenger numbers were only around a quarter of the level in April 2019;
  • Morgan Stanley expects China’s international air capacity to recover to only half of 2019 levels this summer and to just 70% to 80% by the end of 2023.

Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal

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