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Die Würfel sind gefallen – Chinese Tourist Welcome Award 2024 applications closed and the May Golden days over

Die Würfel sind gefallen – Chinese Tourist Welcome Award 2024 applications closed and the May Golden days over

Dear reader,

Just a short editorial this week as your humble editor prepares to travel to China (via two workshop stops in Milan and Cairo) for the GITF Guangzhou International Travel Fair 2024. For the first time in more than 45 years I will enter China without the need for a visa! On my first trip in 1978 I got visa for the People’s Republic of Poland, the Soviet Union and the Mongolian People’s Republic, each on a little piece of paper, as my West German passport was not accepted by these countries and my West Berlin identify card could not be stamped. Only the People’s Republic of China, reached after a week on the Trans-Siberian Railway, did not care about West Berlin's special status and gave me my first stamp in my West German passport. Later on I qualified for an annual visa, but now I can enter for 15 days just like that!

If you happen to be in the region, please come to the GITF 2024 COTRI stand and of course especially to the Chinese Outbound Tourism Conference during the GITF 2024 on the 17th of May. The CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards 2024 will be presented the day before. If you missed the deadline, too bad, because now it is too late (at least for this year).

In China, the May holidays were as expected, with high levels of domestic and slightly lower levels of outbound travel. Particularly the 670,000 Mainland Chinese who visited Hong Kong in the first four days of the holiday, had to cope with grey skies and rainy weather. Reports speak of lower spending per person, with some travellers even staying in a hotel and having dinner in Shenzhen, only spending the day in Hong Kong.

Speaking of numbers, the National Immigration Administration published a report that puts the overall number of mainland Chinese crossing the border in the first quarter of 2024 at nearly 70 million. It does not say whether this includes Chinese passport holders living outside China, or in which direction people are travelling. As every trip involves going and coming back, therefore two border crossings, and as some of these persons will have been from outside China, that would indicate a number above 30 million outbound trips. COTRI ANALYTICS is working on a more detailed analysis, but currently the calculations point in the same direction. Another interesting figure in the report gives the number of newly issued passports to Mainland Chinese as more than six million.

I am looking forward to my first trip to China in 2024 and flying Sichuan Airlines for the first time from Cairo to Chengdu and on to Guangzhou.

The next issue of the COTRI Weekly editorial will be a bit delayed to be able to include the information about the CTW Award 2024 winners and the GITF Conference 2024. A big thank you to all the companies and organisations from all over the world who applied for a CTW Award!

As always, best wishes to all readers from Prof. Dr Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the entire COTRI INTELLIGENCE team!