According to research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Beijing is projected to surpass Paris and become the world’s biggest destination for Travel & Tourism within the next ten years.
The analysis, which was conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics and sponsored by Visa, examined significant metrics, such as, the impact of Travel & Tourism on GDP, employment and traveler expenditures.
WTTC analysed the effect of the Travel & Tourism sector in four major cities across China – Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shanghai and revealed that the findings were a mixed bag, with some positive and negative aspects.
Although the long-term prospects for several Chinese cities appear optimistic, the recovery in the short term has been hindered by persistent travel restrictions and border closures. The tourism industry’s contribution to GDP in all four cities almost completely rebounded to 2019 levels last year.
The GDP contribution from the sector to Beijing and Chengdu’s economy in 2022 was just 4% and 2% below 2019 levels respectively ($34BN and $5.4BN), compared to $31BN and $5.5BN.
In 2022, the sector’s GDP contribution in Guangzhou and Shanghai was around 7% below 2019 levels. In Guangzhou the sector contributed $13.2BN in 2022 compared to $14.1BN before covid, while in Shanghai, the sector contributed $29.7BN compared to $31.5BN in 2019.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “China has long been a world-favourite holiday destination and after more than two years of disruption, it’s great to see tourists heading back. Tourists provide a massive boost to both the economy and job creation. It is crucial that the national and local governments continue to recognise the importance of Travel & Tourism for the local and national economies, jobs and businesses.”