Chinese tourists are back in France… but they will mostly stay in Asia

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From March 15, Chinese people will resume overseas group travel to 40 countries, including France, Spain, Italy and Greece, according to an announcement from the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This is the second batch of destinations in China’s pilot program for outbound group tours, after the country resumed cross-border group tours to the first batch of 20 countries and regions on Feb. 6.

The list of 40 countries where Chinese tourists can now go

Nepal, Brunei, Vietnam, Mongolia, Iran, Jordan, Tanzania, Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Serbia, Croatia, France, Greece, Spain, Iceland, Albania, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Dominica, El Salvador, Dominica, Bahamas.

No need to present a negative covid test

Air travelers from China, Hong Kong or Macau no longer need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding a flight to Europe but also to the United States, health officials said. The change will take effect on March 10 at 3 p.m. in New York, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A traveler-based genomic surveillance program that has been expanded to help detect potential new variants will remain in place, the agency said.

When the Chinese government encourages wider circulation

Chinese authorities said it looked forward to more countries joining in to provide more convenience for Chinese and foreigners to travel, after Australia scrapped Covid-19 testing requirements for travelers from from China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said China believes that for all countries, Covid-19 response measures should be science-based and proportionate.

Travelers from China are expected to make 110 million international trips this year, according to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute.

This represents two-thirds of the 170 million trips made by travelers to the East Asian country in 2019. They contributed $253 billion to the global economy. The return of Chinese travelers is an economic boost that global tourism sectors have been missing

For the moment, countries not far from the People’s Republic of China will benefit from arrivals

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said, “We believe Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore stand to benefit the most if Chinese tourist arrivals return to 2019 levels.”

Hong Kong, the most visited city in the world with just under 56 million arrivals in 2019, most from mainland China, could see its GDP increase by around 7.6% as exports and Tourism revenues are rising, they said.

Asian countries will benefit from the tourist windfall

Thailand’s GDP could be increased by 2.9%, while Singapore would benefit from a 1.2% increase. Elsewhere in the world, Cambodia, Mauritius, Malaysia, Taiwan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, South Korea and the Philippines should also benefit from the return of Chinese tourists, according to a study by Capital Economics.


The return of foreign tourists to mainland China … soon

China does not yet roll out the red carpet for international tourists wishing to explore the country’s many cities.

Borders remain largely closed to foreigners except for business or family visits, although the government has signaled it is also considering easing restrictions in this area. No timeline has been announced.

Catherine Mills Avatar