Many of us wonder what travelling would be like after the lockdown. It has been over a month since some nations imposed a shutdown that made us live like a recluse, and I imagine that our current predicament is quite difficult for wanderlust souls. While the rest of the world is shutting down, China is slowly opening its doors after it underwent a major lockdown earlier. As the number of new infections in China continues to fall, the government has begun to restart the country and to reignite its economy.
The next big question: Is the world ready for Chinese tourists anytime soon?
I got a few people asking me this question. Travel abroad is on the Chinese top wish list to do after the COVID-19 crisis, and they have money to travel. But, then, is the world ready for Chinese tourists? Will hotels welcome Chinese tourists when they travel and stay at your hotels?
I overheard some hoteliers mentioned that if Chinese tourists come again, their staff will be scared that Chinese will bring in virus again. Professionally speaking, now since COVID-19 is a pandemic, it really doesn’t matter what nationalities can bring in virus again. But perception is everything. As a half-Chinese myself, I don’t blame others for having this psychological barrier to overcome, and it will take time to overcome. I understand.
But let’s face it. China outbound tourism isn’t going to go away. It will continue to be an important market segment for hotels. Personally, I think whoever is more open-minded to come out quickly from the psychological barrier, the sooner the rebound can happen on this island… at your hotel.
Hopefully, the industry leaders from top-down can help to ease the tension between their staff and Chinese tourists. Perhaps, during this idle time now, the hotel management can conduct some learning series on “How to Best Serve Chinese Tourists”. Encourage your front liners to participate to lower any potential resistance post-COVID-19 is a good first step.
We are in this together to fight COVID-19, and to help our beloved industry to get back on track ASAP.