While China easing group tour restrictions is a travel industry leap, don't expect a sudden surge of Chinese tourists. The revival might need a little more time to unfold.
China recently announced the easing of restrictions on group tours and would-be travelers immediately started searching for trips. Online travel platform Ctrip reported a 20-fold increase in searches for outbound travel options.
Specifically, there was high interest in trips for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, an eight-day break in late September and early October. There was a significant rise in queries for group travel packages to countries like Japan and Australia, reported Beijing Youth Daily.
Travel demand should also get a boost from an increase in flights between the U.S. and China – the countries have approved doubling the number of passenger flights.
"Within a few days of the announcement, we have already seen new flight connections, policies and business initiatives introduced, and I believe this momentum will only grow stronger. It is a clear signal that the world's biggest outbound market is coming back," says Oliver Sedlinger, CEO of tourism marketing consultancy Sedlinger & Associates.