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Two Christmas presents

Two Christmas presents

Dear reader,

last year the Chinese government presented a big Christmas present to the Chinese citizens as well as to the global tourism industry. In the true spirit of “In China everything happens later but faster”, they were a day late, however, the announcement on Boxing Day 2022 of opening up the borders again led to a fast return at least of domestic tourism, surpassing within the year 2023 the level of 2019.

This Christmas, your humble editor provides a much smaller but heartfelt gift to all readers of COTRI weekly editorial (see below).

The global tourism industry also looked very optimistically forward to many Chinese visitors in 2023, alas, not so many of them arrived.

Some destinations in Europe like Greece and Spain indeed registered the highest number of arrivals ever, but for Asians the recovery was much less of a reason to celebrate. Thailand for instance will welcome only 2/3 of the number of visitors of 2019. The gap is almost exactly representing the about eight million Mainland Chinese who visited less in 2023 compared to 2019.

However, for the whole tourism industry there are several swords of Damocles dangling over the head: The climate catastrophe is the reason for an increasing number of interruptions of happy holidays in the form of heat waves, draughts, fires, etc., the ongoing invasions of the Ukraine and the Gaza strip have also resulted in less travel in the surrounding regions, the global GDP growth will be less in 2023 compared to 2022 and is forecasted to slow down further in 2024.

Last week we criticised the tourism industry for their limited engagement in Dubai at the COP2023. It is true that several organisations in addition to the UNWTO and the Glasgow Declaration organised fringe events in Dubai: The WTTC launched a Water Report for Tourism, the World Travel Awards launched World Sustainable Hospitality Awards, IFC International Finance Corporation and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance announced a collaboration. Still, in the main discussions, tourism failed to be given attention. Which may be not so important after all, as COP28 Dubai and COP29 Baku seem already set to hinder instead of helping the fight against climate change.

A look back at China’s outbound tourism development in 2023 is the Topic of the week in the last edition of 2023 of COTRI INTELLIGENCE. In the Deep Dive we look at the very different ways young people in China react to the difficult situation they find themselves in. Facts and Views provides a quantitative view on the development of China’s domestic tourism in 2023.

Normally, each edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE includes as usual the COTRI weekly Editorial, China this week, the News and the COTRI News in the free content part. For the Topic of the Week, the Deep Dive consulting and the Facts and Views, we invite you to consider a Premium or Premium Plus subscription and offer a special welcoming subscription for one month with a 59% discount here: https://cotri-intelligence.ghost.io/welcoming-offer.

This week, however, we will add the Topic of the Week text to this COTRI weekly Editorial as a Christmas gift to all our readers and, we have to admit, as a hint on what you are missing in the premium content of COTRI INTELLIGENCE.

Enjoy the special treat! This is the last edition of COTRI weekly editorial for this year, the next edition will be published on January 3rd, 2024. Best wishes for the New Year to all readers!