In the brief period between this INBOUND Report and the last issue, the rather gloomy outlook presented then (“USA & China: The Sound of Nothing Happening”) has brightened a little. The reason is a somewhat upbeat outlook one receives from a comprehensive survey of Chinese consumers by McKinsey & Company. A global consulting firm headquartered in New York, but with seven offices in the greater China region, it gave pause to those skeptical about the near-term future, but hope to those seeking light at the end of the horizon.
While the specific focus of the McKinsey COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Survey—it is a collection of two surveys, really, taken in mid-April and last month—was on the domestic side of the equation, it tells the reader in summary form the following.
Four trends highlighted in April are consistent with the responses to the McKinsey survey in May, “which gives us confidence that these trends will persist through the summer and early fall”:
First, domestic destinations remain a top choice due to outbound travel restrictions, with 52 percent of respondents preferring this choice versus 55 percent in April.
Second, trips to scenic outdoor spots, “foodie” tours, and trips to family attractions constitute the most popular types of trips, as people continue to avoid crowded tourist spots.
Thirdly, McKinsey anticipates fewer leisure travel groups as people plan to travel mainly with immediate family members.
Finally, guided group tours remain less attractive to travelers than self-guided and self-driven trips, compared with pre-COVID-19 traveler patterns.
Of all the tables in the McKinsey report, the one that captures the essence of its findings is this:
Planned Resumption of Travel¹
(% of Respondents²)
¹ Question: When do you expect to take your next leisure trip? (n=1,569 respondents for data collected in May 2020 and n = 1,682 respondents for data collected in April 2020)
² Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding.
Source: COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Survey
To access a complete copy of the McKinsey & Company report—“China’s travel recovery gains steam: How families are planning their summer vacation—click here.