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China’s international travel only at 39% of 2019 levels: Fitch 

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China’s aviation sector experienced a highly unbalanced recovery in 2023, primarily due to the lag in the recovery of international travel, note analysts at Fitch.

According to the latest commentary, Fitch notes that in 2023 China’s domestic passengers more than doubled to 590 million from 2022, surpassing the 2019 level, while international passengers jumped from 1.9 million in 2022 to 29 million, a figure still just 39 percent of the 2019 level.

Chinese airports’ full recovery in 2024 will largely depend on international routes while the growth of domestic passenger traffic will moderate to normal levels given the high base in 2023 as the impact of the pandemic subsides, says Fitch Ratings.

Some Asian countries have eased entry requirements for Chinese tourists due to the slower-than-expected tourism recovery. 

As of today, Singapore and China announced the implementation of a mutual visa-free policy starting from February 9th. Meanwhile, Thailand canceled visa requirements for Chinese tourists, as well as South Korea launched a visa fee waiver last year. 

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