Asian countries likely to resume intl travel in 3 months, China in half a year: Ctrip CEO
Published: Dec 10, 2021 02:38 AM
Passengers seen at the Beijing Daxing International Airport on June 3 Photo: cnsphoto

Passengers seen at the Beijing Daxing International Airport on June 3, 2021 Photo: cnsphoto

Asian countries are likely to resume international travel in the following three months while China, which is more cautious, is estimated to restart it six months later after learning experiences from other countries, Liang Jianzhang, chairman and CEO of China's leading travel agency Ctrip, made the prediction at a forum on Thursday. 

Liang also revealed that the long-awaited resumption of quarantine-free travel between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is expected to be approved shortly.

According to the data Liang displayed at the forum, the airline market in Europe has bounced back to about 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels and is likely to fully reach 2019 numbers by summer, 2022. The average weekly load factor in the US has reached to around 80 percent in October.

The international travel market outside Asia has recovered to about half of pre-pandemic levels, Liang pointed out. 

Liang mentioned he recently spent months traveling around the world, visiting and having meetings with tourism officials of the US, the UK, Austria, Spain and Portugal. They are eagerly looking forward to the return of Asian tourists, especially those from China.

The prediction about when China can open its gates to the world again has caught global attention while some countries are announcing their reopening policies although the pandemic is ramping and dangerous mutations keep popping up. 

Chinese officials and experts have reiterated on many occasions that China will continue its dynamic zero-COVID policy and strictly prevent imported cases to protect local residents. They said that the policy would adjust depending on the situation of the global situation of the pandemic.

Based on the current situation of the pandemic, Gao Fu, Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told media recently that China would carry on its dynamic zero-COVID policy at least until the end of spring, 2022, as it is estimated that during this period there will certainly be imported cases that could generate local community transmission.