China anticipates a booming tourism industry this year, beginning with a bustling and active summer travel period as tourists swarm to vacation spots following the government's decision to abandon the zero-COVID policy, which had kept people from home for nearly three years.

The number of domestic tourists is predicted to reach 4.55 billion in 2023, an increase of 80% year over year, while the number of foreign tourists is predicted to reach more than 90 million, an increase of 100% year over year and a return to 31.5% of pre-pandemic levels.

According to data from the Chinese Tourism Academy, domestic tourism earnings in 2023 may total around 4 trillion yuan ($580.8 billion), an increase of roughly 95% year over year, and return to levels that are roughly 71% higher than those of 2019.

According to the data, there were 25.3 billion domestic tourists in the country in 2022, a decrease of 22.1% from the previous year.

During the pandemic, travel service businesses were particularly heavily hit. Travel across the country increased after China abandoned its strict COVID restrictions, particularly during the week-long Lunar New Year break, which saw an increase in trips.

Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year in China when enormous numbers of people working in rich coastal cities go to their hometowns and villages for family reunions. The event this year is the first in three years to be free of any kind of lockdown curbs.

After demonstrations against the restrictions, China dropped its tight "zero COVID" policy in the first few days of December, allowing individuals to travel and the virus to spread quickly across the nation.

In response to criticism regarding its coronavirus data, China amended its definition of the COVID death toll to include hospital deaths brought on by COVID-related respiratory failure and people who passed away from a COVID-and-another-disease comorbidity. Since persons who passed away at home are still not included in the census, critics claim that this is still an undercount.

During the holiday week, 226 million domestic travels were reportedly conducted by all modes of transportation, including aircraft. According to the transport ministry, this compares to roughly 130 million domestic trips made during the holiday week last year, but it is still significantly below pre-pandemic levels: 420 million trips were made during the previous Lunar New Year holiday before the novel coronavirus emerged in late 2019.