2020 brought immense business challenges to the travel and tourism industry. With the Lunar New Year on the horizon, East/West’s Elfie Yang checked in with China Travel Agent Magazine and asked General Manager Max Wang to reflect on these transformative times.
Elfie Wang: What has this experience been like for Chinese tour operators?
Max Wang, General Manager | China Travel Agent Magazine
The COVID-19 pandemic brought our tourism industry to a standstill. Border closures forced all outbound tour operators through a sudden business transformation, such as shifting to domestic travel, real estate, live-streaming sales, etc. With only a few companies banned or shut down, every surviving enterprise is looking for a way out.
2020 was undoubtedly a difficult year for outbound tourism service providers, and 2021 will continue to stress test the health status of every enterprise.
In terms of outbound travel, the business travel sector will be the first to recover in China. Countries continue to release policies to support travel’s recovery. Additionally, vaccine development and distribution is promising news for the industry.
Elfie Yang: As China prepares to usher in the new year, what hopes do you have for the travel industry?
Max Wang: If the goal in 2020 was to survive, then the biggest goal in 2021 is to reboot. The demand for outbound tourism still exists, and there are always opportunities in the China market.
I hope that every outbound tourism agency can hold on until the new dawn and we will see an end to the pandemic soon.