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Key Takeaways from Brand USA's 'China Market Update and Insights' Webinar

Feb 13, 2023

The following provides NYSTIA Data Analyst Ryan Maercklein's February 9th China Market Update and Insights webinar presented by Brand USA.

The presentation circulated around the broad topic of China’s choice to reopen international travel, what led to the decision, and what it truly encompasses. We would like to thank Brand USA for sharing this information and continuing to educate members of the tourism industry.

The most significant takeaways from the February 9th webinar are:

China’s Development in COVID Policies: China’s choice to end international travel restrictions was a gradual process that began on Sept. 22nd, 2022 when the CDC released a COVID exit plan. 

  1. By the start of December 2022, over 90% of China’s population was fully vaccinated prompting the government to announce plans to reopen the border. On January 8th, 2023, the border was reopened
    1. As a result, passports resumed being issued and renewed, they abolished quarantining and PCR testing upon arrival to China, removed seat capacity limits on international flights, and downgraded the severity of the COVID virus thus prohibiting local governments from imposing quarantines.
    2. Starting February 6th, outbound group and package travel is allowed to a select group of 20 countries. The list of countries are as follows: Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, UAE, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, Cuba, Argentina, New Zealand, Fiji, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa.
  2. China’s border reopening is forecasted to inject over $200 billion into global tourism.

Hurdles to Reopening: Having restrictions in place since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, a multitude of challenges lay ahead while transitioning back to international travel.

  1. Low availability of flights coupled with a high cost of air travel.
  2. A potential backlog of passport applications and renewals.
  3. Ongoing restrictive policies related to group travel.
  4. Time required for the industry to build up necessary service capacity.

Opportunity to Rebuild: With China’s international travel being resumed, travel agents are looking to destinations for support. 

  1. Trade partners lack the most updated destination information.
  2. Offline trade shows are resuming.
  3. Brand USA China has hosted webinars partnering with DMOs, airlines, and the U.S. Commercial Service.

Once again, we would like to thank Brand USA for making this information available for us to share. View the full presentation statistics and findings.

Ryan Maercklein

NYSTIA Marketing Analyst