China yesterday lifted a ban in place since the Covid pandemic for group travel In more than 70 countriesgiving hope for a mass return of Chinese tourists abroad.
The new list includes among the 70 countries the United States, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany or even Turkey… China has never explained its phased approach, but observers note that this appears to depend on the level of tensions between Beijing and the countries involved. Also, Canada, which has difficult relations with China, is still not on the list of authorized countries.
Re France, the green light was granted to it already last March, thanks to a previous authorization for organized trips abroad. A first set of destinations reinstated in January included 20 countries such as Thailand, Russia, Cuba and Argentina, then a second in March included 40 countries, including France. This measure has “played a positive role in promoting tourism exchanges and cooperation“, welcomed the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, to the publication of this new list of 70 countries.
China closed its borders in 2020 to protect itself from Covid, then imposed long and costly quarantines on arrival in order to deter returns to the country. The Chinese were banned for three years from traveling abroad except for compelling reasons. But this ban was completely lifted at the beginning of the year and Chinese tourists who travel individually can since go where they want. In 2019, before the pandemic, some 155 million Chinese went on overseas trips.