China's outbound tourism market sees accelerated growth

(People's Daily Online) 13:40, January 11, 2024

The China Tourism Academy says the recovery process of China's inbound and outbound tourism market is expected to gain further momentum in 2024.

The academy predicts that the number of inbound and outbound tourist arrivals will surpass 264 million in 2024, while income generated by international tourists is projected to exceed $107 billion.

With the recovery of the global tourism industry in 2023, countries have once again opened their doors to Chinese tourists.

Staff members welcome Chinese tourists at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 25, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese tourists have shown a strong preference for Southeast Asian countries due to their convenient transportation, friendly language environment, abundant tourism resources, and relatively low travel costs.

Several Southeast Asian countries recently implemented favorable visa policies. Malaysia announced a 30-day visa-free entry for Chinese citizens, while Thailand announced that Thailand and China will permanently exempt each other's citizens from visa requirements starting from March.

These positive policy changes have received an enthusiastic response from Chinese tourists. Data from Alibaba's travel platform Fliggy shows that within one hour of the visa-free policy announcement, the number of searches for flights to Thailand more than doubled.

The recovery of international flights has led to an increase in outbound tourism.

According to data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the number of international passenger flights has risen significantly, from less than 500 flights per week in early 2023 to over 4,600 flights.

Passenger transport between China and Europe has surpassed 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and the number of regular direct flights between China and the U.S. has increased to 63 flights per week.

Many people have made plans to travel abroad during the upcoming winter vacation and Spring Festival holiday.

Data from China's online travel service provider Tuniu shows there has been a significant increase in bookings for tourism products during the Spring Festival holiday compared to the same period last year, with the peak of bookings arriving earlier.

Outbound travel bookings for the holiday now account for 34 percent of total orders. Popular destinations include Thailand, Singapore, Maldives, Russia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Nordic countries.

According to a report by, as international flights resume rapidly and visa policies in major destinations become more favorable, there has been a significant increase in residents' interest in exploring foreign countries, with 60 percent of respondents expressing their intent to travel overseas within the next year.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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