Tourism, which is among the worst-hit sectors amid the COVID-19 crisis, is expected to witness a radical shift with a new wave of “slow” and “smart” tourism taking centerstage and an increased momentum for health and wellness, according to a new study.
The paper, authored by a team of Chinese researchers from Australian and Malaysian universities and a Turkish tourism professor, predicts that the global pandemic could have a long-lasting impact on the consumption pattern of Chinese travelers leading to growing popularity of free and independent travel, luxury trips, and health and wellness tourism.
“The Chinese community is the most affected community by this virus. With China being the top tourist-generating country as well as among the top tourism destination, we tried to understand what impact COVID-19 may have on the Chinese community as well as in Chinese and global tourism industry in the near future,” one of the co-authors of the paper, Metin Kozak, a professor at the Turkey’s Dokuz Aylul University, told CGTN Digital in a Skype interview.
Noting that Chinese tourists have traditionally preferred travelling in groups, Kozak said that this may likely alter as a result of the new lifestyle changes being brought about due to the contagion. “When Chinese tourists are abroad, they like to interact with each other and speak with each other and therefore they travel together. But COVID-19 calls for social distancing, which may have an impact on this,” he said.
Elaborating on the topic, Dr. Wen Jun, another co-author of the paper titled “COVID-19: Potential effects on Chinese citizens’ lifestyle and travel,” pointed out that there’s already a shift in this trend among younger Chinese tourists.