A dearth of Chinese travelers is nothing to “worry about,” said Banyan Tree Holdings founder Ho Kwon Ping.
“They are definitely going to come back,” he told CNBC’s Chery Kang at the Milken Institute’s Asia Summit on Wednesday.
“China is just a temporary blip,” he said. “Most of us in the hospitality industry, a year or so ago, predicted that Chinese tourism would only start to rebound around maybe this year or even next year.”
No one expected a quick turn-around from lockdown to mass travel, he added.
For Banyan Tree Holdings — which operates more than 60 hotels in 17 countries — Ho said “Chinese tourism [is] coming back quite strongly.”
What’s missing are the “mass group tours, which provide the numbers, but they don’t come to our hotels anyway,” he said. “So you have a lot more free individual travelers … and they’re the ones who can pay the higher airfares and so on.”
He’s also bullish on the tourism market within China.
“The Chinese government made it very clear, they don’t want to have a heavy investment-led growth, they want consumption-based growth and consumption equals tourism. And tourism, as any economist will tell you, has got the greatest sort of trickle-on effect,” he said.
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