13 May 2024

China witnessed a remarkable resurgence in the mobility of its citizens, with the number of train passengers in 2023 exceeded the pre-pandemic levels, registering a notable growth of 5.3% compared to that of 2019. Encouragingly, the latest data from the first two months of 2024 demonstrate a continued upward trajectory, with the number of train passengers experiencing 36% YoY growth to reach 693m, surpassing 509m in 2M2023 and 575m in 2M2019. Flight passengers also demonstrated similar growth trends. Domestic and international flight passengers experienced YoY increase of 136%/1461% respectively, reaching 590m/29m in 2023 (2020: 408m/10m; 2021: 439m/1m). Notably, the total number of domestic passengers not only recovered from the pandemic but also surpassed pre-pandemic levels (2019: 586m). Robust growth of travel within China sustained in 2024, with domestic flight passengers witnessed a YoY increase of 29%, reaching a total of 163m passengers in 1Q24. This figure not only surpasses the same period in 2019 by an impressive 14% but also showcases the resilience and strength of the domestic travel sector. Additionally, train passengers in the first two months of 2024 have exceeded the pre-pandemic level by 21%. These encouraging figures in transportation underscore the continued momentum of mobility growth this year, which also served as a testament of the robust tourism industry in China, particularly in inbound tourism.

CROSBY Research – Consumer sector: Strong rebound in domestic travelling in China