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Is there any hope for outbound travel during the year? Asia, the closest to China, says it’s a bit difficult

Date: 2020-08-29

On the one hand, it is the pressure of epidemic prevention and control, and on the other hand, the huge pressure of tourism income facing a cliff-like decline.

From "The world is so big, I want to visit" to "The world is so big, I can't go anywhere". There is only a new crown pneumonia epidemic. From the suspension of outbound travel on the eve of the Chinese New Year in 2020 to now halfway through August, the market has not restarted at all the trend of. However, the tourism bureaus of various countries as the promotion of tourist destinations have not stopped their work. Online promotion and recovery plans are in progress. Wenlv recently conducted interviews and launched a series of reports on many tourist destinations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. When traveling to Asia, I found that the destinations closest to China were more cautious about the recovery of outbound travel business.

In fact, the tourism industry plays an important role in the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region, and its contribution rate is increasing year by year. According to the latest "Economic Impact Report" released by the World Tourism and Travel Industry Council (WTTC), the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region in 2019 GDP is US$2.971 trillion, accounting for 9.8% of the regional economy; it also ranks first in the world in terms of providing employment, providing more than 182 million jobs, accounting for 9.6% of the total employment.

This means that when the new crown epidemic hits the global tourism industry, Asian destinations will have to bear greater losses and pressure, and the expectation of restarting the tourism market is also more urgent. In the restart plan, the Chinese market and Chinese tourists play a role. Important role. Although there is no sign of loosening on the Chinese side, tourism bureaus of many countries, including South Korea and the Philippines, still insist on publicity and promotion in the Chinese market, hoping that the inbound tourism business can get back on track as soon as the market resumes.

Asian tourism market hit hard by the epidemic

The Spring Festival holiday was originally the busiest time for Asian countries to welcome Chinese tourists. According to the "2020 Spring Festival "Chinese New Year" Trend Forecast Report released by Ctrip, Japan and Thailand are the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists. After the global tourism industry presses the "pause button", these two countries are also representatives of the worst losses.

In Thailand, tourism is one of Thailand’s important economic pillar industries. According to the data of the International Monetary Fund, due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic on the tourism industry, it is estimated that the loss of Thailand’s tourism revenue in 2020 will account for its GDP. If the tourism industry cannot recover from September, the losses will be even more severe. Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports Pippa also stated that if Thailand still does not open its doors to welcome foreign tourists by the end of this year, it is expected that about 60% of the country’s hotels will close down, and the expected foreign tourist tourism market may lose more than 60%.

The situation in Japan is also not optimistic. Since 2003, Japan has been taking the route of "building a nation by tourism". Over the years, it has continuously increased investment in tourism and tourism to attract tourists from all over the world. China is one of its important source countries. Under the influence of the epidemic, according to a research report published by a senior economic researcher at the Nomura Research Institute in Japan, losses in Japan’s tourism-related industries are likely to exceed 2,475 billion yen (approximately US$22.4 billion), accounting for approximately Japan’s nationals in 2019. 0.45% of GDP.

In addition, the epidemic has caused considerable losses to the tourism industries of South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries that Chinese tourists are keen on. Among them, South Korea’s duty-free business has suffered the most. Chinese tourists have always been the main purchasers of Korean duty-free goods. Data shows , In 2018 alone, Chinese consumption accounted for 73.42% of Korea’s total tax-free sales. After the outbreak, the pace of Chinese tourists' travel was suspended, and the Korean duty-free market was also hit hard. In March, the domestic duty-free shop traffic was only 588,000, a year-on-year decrease of 85.7%. In April, duty-free shop sales fell by 90% year-on-year.

According to the latest data released by the Department of Tourism of the Philippines, from January to July, about 1.32 million foreign tourists visited the Philippines, a year-on-year decrease of 73%; inbound tourism revenue dropped from 284.82 billion pesos (about 5.84 billion US dollars) to 81.05 billion Peso (approximately 1.66 billion US dollars), a decline of 72% year-on-year.

Although from the perspective of the global epidemic situation, Asia is recognized as a relatively successful region for epidemic prevention, but due to the complexity of the virus, multiple countries in Asia, including China, have recently experienced repeated epidemics. On the one hand, it is the pressure of epidemic prevention and control, and on the other hand, the huge pressure of tourism income facing a cliff-like decline. How to balance the relationship between the two and find a way to restart the tourism business as soon as possible has become the work of all countries. The puzzle to explore.

Cautiously optimistic about the difficulty of restarting outbound travel in the short term

In order to restart travel as soon as possible, some countries with good results in epidemic control have begun to try the "travel bubble" plan. The so-called "travel bubble" is to make part of the epidemic controllable and the number of people infected under the global epidemic blockade. Lower countries and regions open their borders to each other, do not need to endure a 14-day quarantine at the destination, and take the lead in resuming part of the inbound tourism business with conditions.

This plan was first tried in Europe, and in the Asian market, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries all have plans to establish a "travel bubble". Take Thailand as an example. Thailand first proposed a travel bubble plan in June this year. It hopes that through bilateral agreements, countries with well-controlled epidemics such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia will resume normal tourist exchanges with Thailand. There is no need to quarantine for 14 days, but this plan has been stranded because of the second and third waves of the epidemic in East Asian countries. According to the Philippine Ministry of Tourism, it is also considering adopting a new travel model of "travel bubble", the local Bohol Island , Boracay and Palawan have all been selected as destinations for the "Travel Bubble", but they are all in the planning stage.

The Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in China and the Tourism Counsellor of the Beijing Office of the Philippine National Tourism Administration, Dr. Bai Aiwen, said in an interview with Wenlv that the Philippines has resumed multiple flights with China and has also taken many measures to ensure airline crews and passengers For example, all passengers must present a health certificate issued by a certified testing laboratory three days before the actual flight, and all arriving passengers must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine measure at a government-designated facility. However, the government still adheres to strict management policies for inbound tourism, and leisure travel for foreign tourists is currently not allowed, especially in areas where the government has announced strict isolation measures.

"China has always been an important market for the Philippines. We also look forward to seeing Chinese tourists as soon as possible. However, health and safety are still the most important. We predict that the overseas travel market will continue to decline in the next period of time, and it may continue. In the first half of next year, or until a vaccine against the new crown pneumonia epidemic is developed, mass-produced, distributed and injected to everyone. Otherwise, the tourism market will give priority to domestic travel and spend leisure and family time in places they think are safe."

South Korea, another popular destination for Chinese tourists, is cautiously optimistic about restarting inbound tourism in the short term. Liu Jin-ho, chief representative of the Beijing Office of the Korea Tourism Development Agency, told Wenlu that from a global perspective, South Korea’s response to the new crown epidemic can be said to be very successful. South Korea’s diagnostic reagents are spreading throughout the world, and South Korea has developed " The Drive Through method has also been adopted by many countries, but for tourism, it is still in a difficult stage of recovery.

"In terms of outbound travel by Korean nationals, although the European Union allows citizens from 14 countries, including South Korea, to enter, considering the 14-day quarantine after returning home, currently very few Koreans actually travel to these countries. From the perspective of mutualism, South Korea has discussed the issue of re-launching tourism exchanges with some countries that implement safety and epidemic prevention, but in fact it has not yet begun to implement it. Although there are some regrets, it is difficult to say that the overseas tourism market can recover within this year It is even unlikely. From a pessimistic point of view, if vaccines or therapeutics cannot be developed, it may be difficult for the market to recover next year. However, it is not ruled out that countries with more successful epidemic prevention efforts may cooperate with each other to resume some tourism. communicate with."

Some industry experts believe that under the influence of the epidemic, the tourism industry must recover in the order of peripheral travel, domestic travel, and outbound travel. Specifically, the outbound travel market will also be from the surrounding short-distance destinations to the long-distance destination countries, so Asia will be The region where China’s outbound travel is the first to show signs of recovery, must also be the destination country with the most communication with China. If Asia cannot be restarted, destinations such as Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Middle East and Africa may be even more hopeless, regardless of the destination country. It is still a domestic outbound tourism industry. The "cold winter" caused by this epidemic will continue for a long time, and it is necessary to make full preparations.

Offline to online promotion cannot stop

Although the outbound travel business may face a long-term "freeze" status, the actions of various countries to promote their own destinations have not stopped, offline activities cannot be carried out, and online "cloud live broadcast" has become a way to get in touch with Chinese tourists. New way. And with the consolidation of China's domestic epidemic prevention and control results, offline publicity activities have also begun to be planned.

Taking South Korea as an example, according to the introduction of representative Liu Jinho, in order to meet the changing market needs of Chinese tourists, South Korea is launching various activities to promote tourism resources and information. One of the key projects is cloud travel. There will be 15 live broadcasts of Korean cloud travel at the end of the month. In addition, the Beijing Office of Korea Tourism Development Agency also actively organizes various online activities such as Korean travel lectures and Korean quiz travel. Even if you cannot go to Korea, you can pass Online activities to experience Korean culture and Korean scenery.

He further stated that strengthening ties with channels such as travel agencies and OTAs is also an important measure to maintain the Chinese market. Only OTAs and travel agencies continue to operate in order to develop more Korean travel products after the epidemic is over. It is understood that the "Ctrip BOSS Live" event that Ctrip has been vigorously promoting recently has also opened a South Korean special. Well-known hotels such as InterContinental Korea, Sheraton, Shilla and scenic spots such as Everland and Nami Island are all included in the scope of live broadcast products. Good "carrying goods" results.

Dr. Bai Aiwen also expressed the same view. He said that despite the predictions of many research institutions, because many countries still implement travel restrictions, it is difficult for the overseas tourism industry to at least return to the level of last year. But in fact, the market’s tendency to travel is still very high, and it has only been temporarily suppressed, which means that once the market is convinced that they will not be infected, the travel transaction volume will return to normal at any time. Therefore, the Philippines will continue to establish strong relationships with Chinese travel industry partners and carry out joint online promotion activities to promote various destinations in the Philippines. Since offline tourism activities are strictly prohibited, online seminars and other virtual training courses are currently used to provide the Philippines with the latest market information for tourism partners. For tourists, the latest promotional film "Let the Philippines wake you up" has been launched. At the same time, we are also taking advantage of this suspension period to strengthen our service quality, and we are ready to provide tourists with extraordinary new normal services at any time.