A recent survey in China shows that more than 40% of respondents plan to travel this year.
45% would travel abroad, mostly to Asian destinations, 14% to Europe. As many as 60% of those surveyed would travel this year if the virus were suppressed by the end of March or April, with security and health as well as discrimination most concerned with travel.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic suddenly halted the tourist year 2020. Domestic and outbound tourism in China were halted, Chinese vantage points closed, and many countries further restricted Chinese citizens from entering. Demand in tourism stalled, prompting the cancellation of the traditional spring festival. After more than a month of rigorous restrictive measures and controls, the results of the measures were visible. Many provinces and cities have reduced the level of activity and are gradually starting to resume work, and many tourist attractions in China are gradually opening up. Strict preventative and control measures are expected to bring the epidemic to a close, and socio-economic activities and the lives of Chinese people will return to normal.
However, questions arise: how do tourists intend to travel, where will they travel, what concerns will they follow on their travels after the Coronavirus pandemic passes?
60% of those surveyed would travel this year
1,252 tourists from 30 Chinese regions were surveyed to find answers to these questions. When asked if they are ready to travel after the epidemic has been curbed, 60% of respondents said they would be prepared to travel this year if the virus were successfully curtailed by the end of March or April. 27% have not yet decided whether or not to travel, and 13% say they will not travel in 2020.
The biggest concern hampering the urge to travel after the pandemic is over is travel safety and health (67%), followed by concern that the virus will start spreading again (44%), a third (32%) say they are hampered by the fact that their income will be lower this year, which is why they are saving, as many as 29% said they were discriminated against by Chinese tourists.
45% would travel abroad; travel intensively in July and August
Due to uncertainty about the end of the epidemic, and especially the outbreak and spread to other countries, many tourists are wary of the timeline of the epidemic’s journey. 41% of tourists surveyed said they would travel after the epidemic but did not yet know the exact date of the trip. 32% say they plan to travel in the summer – July and August, and 12% of tourists surveyed will leave during the Labor Day (May 1st and 2nd). If the epidemic is contained in April, demand for travel in July and August can be expected to be relatively strong. Regarding the choice of destinations, 56% say they will choose to travel to other cities or picturesque places within China, while 45% say they will travel abroad.
Most would travel to Asian destinations, 14% to Europe
Travel to distant destinations will be reduced, but tourists still express the need to travel abroad after the epidemic. The survey shows that Asian destinations are the first choice of many tourists to travel abroad after the epidemic. Japan (18%) and Thailand (14%) are the best choice for traveling abroad, followed by European countries (14%), Maldives, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
More agency travel
48% of tourists planning to travel abroad after the epidemic say they will choose to travel in a group, 34% will travel independently and 18% will choose a personalized trip to a travel agency. The survey found that the demand for travel agency services is much higher for travel abroad than for travel at home. Tourists from other areas come from tourists from towns, i. First-tier students (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen) differ significantly in their way of traveling abroad, with residents of first-tier cities having more experience with solo overseas travel (46%) while traveling less in groups (40%).
The first choice for trips abroad will be to travel to the tropical islands (58% of tourists traveling abroad). 33% would choose a cultural tourism offer. On both domestic and foreign trips, Chinese are passionate foodies and want trips that include food-related experiences (30%).
Their decision to travel will also be affected by the workplace situation, according to 61% of respondents (uncertain of continuation of work and shorter holidays in 2020). More than 50% of respondents believe that their travel will also be affected by the cost of traveling abroad and the spread of the epidemic in other countries. When choosing a destination, 54% of survey respondents say that their choice of travel destination is most influenced by recommendations from relatives and friends, and 41% of tourists say that their choice is most influenced by the recommendation of tourism professionals or influencers and the advertising of the destination itself.
Health and safety first
After the epidemic, people have greater demands on travel and the services of travel agencies and destinations. Health and safety while traveling are a major concern. In general, however, tourists hope that travel agencies and destinations take good care of health and safety, take the necessary steps while traveling, and provide epidemic-related information. After the epidemic is over, they propose improving the quality of tourism services and products, such as raising food quality and housing, less so. a rigorous itinerary of travel and more boutique travel for smaller groups. They also want travel agencies to provide more diverse tourism products, such as tailor-made trips for individual travelers, that is, trips that offer special experiences. For the recovery and success of destinations and tourism companies, timely and effective marketing, providing tourism products and experiences that meet the expectations of tourists are crucial.
Source: Slovenska turistična organizacija and Pata.org