(Yicai Global) April 21 -- The number of tourists and China’s income from tourism may slump about 30 percent this year compared with 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the sector, according to a new report.
Released today by the Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the report lays out three scenarios: optimistic, cautiously optimistic and cautious.
The optimistic estimate sees tourist numbers falling 23 percent to 465,900, and tourism revenue dropping 26 percent to CNY4.8 trillion (USD679.7 billion). The cautiously optimistic outlook projects declines of 29 percent and 33 percent, while the cautious scenario pins the size of the setback at 35 percent and 40 percent.
“This is the deepest and largest impact on China’s tourism industry with the broadest range since the reform and opening up” period began in 1978, according to Song Rui, author of the report and director of CASS’ research center, and special researcher Feng Jun.
The report also predicts 31 million tourists and CNY16.6 billion (USD2.3 billion) revenue during the upcoming five-day May Day holiday. That represents declines of 84.1 percent and 85.9 percent over the same period last year.
The ability of important holidays to escape the effects of the pandemic is critical to the short-term recovery of the market because tourism is seasonal, Song and Feng said. The severity of the virus’ impact in China has decreased over time, but with its global spread the situation for inbound and outbound tourism has become even more severe, they added.
Revenue at China’s scenic area enterprises is expected to plunge more than 80 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, the China Tourist Attractions Association said in a report yesterday.
Editor: Peter Thomas