China lifts Covid-era ban, resumes group tour
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on August 10, 2023
Beijing has lifted a Covid-era ban on outbound group tours to dozens of countries including the United States and Japan.
The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism disclosed this on Thursday, in a statement.
Recall that China had in 2020 cut itself off from the world as part of a strict zero-Covid strategy, using visa suspensions and lengthy quarantines to curb the import of virus cases into the country.
According to the statement, travel agencies across the country and online travel companies will resume operating outbound group tours” to more than 70 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea.
Earlier this year, the Chinese tour group received permission to visit a small number of countries under a trial programme, including tourist magnets Thailand, Italy and France.
The tourism ministry said outbound tourism had been developing in a stable manner since the start of the trial period, “playing a positive role in promoting tourism exchanges and cooperation”.
China had the largest outbound tourism market in the world in 2019, with mainland Chinese residents taking 155 million trips abroad that year, according to consulting firm McKinsey.