Short-lived tourism rebound if the old problems reappear
Tourists glide over green mountains in Kaiyang county of Guiyang, Guizhou province. [Photo by Yuan Fuhong/For chinadaily.com.cn]
Over the past two and a half years, tourism has been one of the sectors that has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to reports, the Yellow Mountain, a major domestic scenic site in East China's Anhui province, saw its number of tourists drop by 34.88 percent in the first quarter of the year compared with the number in the same period last year. Only 35 percent of hotel rooms in Beijing and 40 percent in Shanghai were rented out in the first quarter, an occupancy rate that is incomparable to that before the pandemic.
Therefore it is of key importance to render support to the industry. In the Dragon Boat Festival holiday that has just passed, the number of domestic travelers reached 79.61 million, 86.8 percent of that of 2019.
In other words, the tourism market still has vitality as long as the pandemic is under effective control and the economy is operating normally.
One after another local government has introduced supportive policies to help the tourism industry. Besides that, after frequent lockdowns or other strict control measures, many residents have a strong desire to go out for a travel, and it is anticipated that there will be a strong recovery with the pandemic now largely controlled nationwide.
However, even before the pandemic, there were many complaints about bad services and exorbitant prices at popular tourist places. With supportive government policies and people's strong travel desire, these problems might see a short-term recovery, but the two pillars alone will never support the whole industry in the long run.
When the rebound comes, the tourism places with the problems will only suffer more heavily from their old problems in the long term.
Especially, with the growth of high-quality tourism agencies, those agencies providing poor services will only lag farther and farther behind. The coming recovery thanks to effective pandemic control will only be temporary for them and they will fail in the market.
What the tourism sector needs is not only policy support, but also trust from the consumers. The tourism agencies and tourist sites need to look to the future and improve their infrastructure, management and services.