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Travel & Tourism in China Set to Surpass Pre-pandemic Levels in 2024

  • June 6, 2024
  • 2 min read

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR) has revealed today that China’s Travel & Tourism sector is set to inject a record-breaking ¥12.62TN into the national economy by the end of this year.

In partnership with Oxford Economics, a world leader in global economic forecasting, WTTC’s latest research shows that domestic travel spend is also set to reach new heights this year – expected to contribute ¥6.79TN into China’s economy in 2024.

According to the global tourism body, employment in Travel & Tourism is expected to represent 10.6% of all jobs in the country this year, although just 2% behind 2019 levels.

Yet despite this growth in GDP contribution and with job numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels, international visitor spending is expected to remain more than 25% behind 2019 levels this year.

One of the last major economies to reopen its borders after the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s late reopening to international visitors in 2023, had a significant impact on Travel & Tourism’s full recovery.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said; “While China’s Travel & Tourism sector has shown signs of resilience, with a strong recovery in both its economic contribution and domestic travel spend, the much later reopening has meant international travel spend is off the pace.

“The new, more simplified visa application process is certainly a step in the right direction and should see more visitors from overseas this year and next.”

Last year, China’s Travel & Tourism contributed ¥9.2TN to the economy, 24% behind 2019 levels, and while jobs in the sector rose by almost 16%, the total number of people employed in the sector remained 4.8MN behind the previous peak, at 77.47MN.

Spending by domestic travellers also experienced slower growth last year, reaching just over ¥5TN, 17.2% behind 2019, while international travel spending hit just over ¥406BN – almost 58% behind.

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