KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines will be more modest beneficiaries of China's revenge travel than Thailand, among the Asean-6 countries.

Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB) said the recovery in China tourists up to late 2022 had been faster in Indonesia (14 per cent of pre-pandemic) and Malaysia (11 per cent), and slower in Vietnam (three per cent) and Thailand (five per cent). 

"Asean has broadly avoided stringent requirements targeted at China tourists, and will likely benefit from the diversion of China tourists away from South Korea, Japan and Australia, which imposed more stringent rules," Maybank IB said.

Before the pandemic, China tourists were Asean-6's largest source of arrivals, who took 27 million trips and contributed about US$32.4 billion in tourism receipts to Asean-6 in 2019. 

Maybank IB said the return of China tourists would help boost the hospitality, retail and aviation sectors, and cushion the manufacturing and export recession. 

In November 2022/before the recent reopening, China accounted for only about 126,000 tourist arrivals in Asean-6, or just 5.6 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Thailand will be the biggest beneficiary as visitor arrival accounted for 28 per cent of total arrivals pre-pandemic, while China tourism receipts account for 3.1 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). 

Vietnam will be the second biggest beneficiary, where China visitor arrivals accounted for 31 per cent of total arrivals, and China tourism receipts accounted for 1.4 per cent of GDP.

Meanwhile, Maybank IB said outbound South Korean tourists had reached 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, twice the 25 per cent of outbound Japan tourists.

"The recovery path of China outbound tourists will likely be somewhere in between Japan's slow and South Korea's more rapid recovery," it added.

Maybank IB has raised China GDP growth forecast to 5.0 per cent (from 4.0 per cent) in 2023 given the faster than expected "big bang" reopening. 

"Asean economies more sensitive to a China GDP recovery include Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand," it said.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

2023-01-26T09:01:42Z dg43tfdfdgfd