China allows ‘organized group’ travel to ‘relevant countries’



From February 6, travel agencies and online companies across the country are resuming the organization of outbound group tours

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China issued a statement announcing that ‘organized group’ travel to ‘relevant countries’ will be allowed to resume in early February.

“From February 6, 2023, travel agencies and online companies across the country, on a pilot basis, are resuming the organization of outbound group tours and the air ticket + hotel service for Chinese citizens to relevant countries,” the ministry responsible for formulating cultural and tourism policies of Mainland China announced in a statement.

The list or ‘relevant countries’ provided by the ministry includes Argentina, Hungary, Egypt, Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Cuba, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Fiji, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Two days ago, head official from the medical emergency response department of China’s National Health Commission, said at a briefing that the country had successfully passed the peak of COVID-19 spike and ‘partially returned’ to the state that existed before early December 2022, when the rapid spread of COVID-19 had just started in the country.

Two weeks ago, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China downgraded COVID-19 from the class “A” (extremely dangerous) category of diseases to class “B” category (diseases requiring strict control measures).

China’s class “A” list includes diseases such as plague and cholera, class “B” – SARS, AIDS and viral hepatitis.

In this context, the government of the People’s Republic of China has significantly eased quarantine restrictions for those entering the country.

China’s domestic tourism was the first and foremost beneficiary of the travel restrictions relaxation so far.

Immediately upon the official announcement about the ease of COVID-19 controls, there was a huge surge in travel bookings for domestic flights, with Sanya on the southern end of China’s tourist Hainan Island, being the hottest destination with the fastest tourism recovery.