Chinese international travelers have been the world’s biggest tourism spenders for a while and their relative absence in international travel – caused by strict COVID-19 quarantine procedures upon return to China – has been tearing a large hole in international tourism receipts, which is most acutely felt by the country’s regional neighbors.
As seen in data by the UN World Tourism Organization, expenditures of outbound travelers from China were still down 62 percent on average from 2019 as of June 2021. This latest 2021 figure is another step down from the 2020 decline of 49 percent. The second biggest spender in international tourism, the United States, is already on the path of tourism recovery, while European countries in the top 5 at least remained steady in 2021 compared with 2020.
All top destinations for Chinese travelers are within the region, starting with Thailand and also including Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam. The first country on the list recently restarted its tourism industry for vaccinated travelers, but according to a Reuters report, is sorely missing the big-spending Chinese. According to the report, resorts were looking towards Europe instead to fill their beds.