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COVID-19: potential effects on Chinese citizens’ lifestyle and travel

Jun Wen (Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Metin Kozak (School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Dokuz Eylul University, İzmir, Turkey)
Shaohua Yang (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Fang Liu (The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 12 May 2020

Issue publication date: 26 February 2021




The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is projected to have adverse consequences on the global tourism and hospitality industry. This paper aims to examine how the outbreak may alter Chinese tourists’ lifestyle choices, travel behaviour and tourism preferences in the short and long term.


This paper is based on the synthesis of news broadcasted by several media outlets to be supported by an overview of the related literature on tourism marketing, tourism management and tourist behaviour. The authors’ experiences investigating trends in tourism and hospitality at the local and international level have also contributed to the study.


This paper predicts that COVID-19 will likely affect Chinese travellers’ consumption patterns, such as the growing popularity of free and independent travel, luxury trips and health and wellness tourism. New forms of tourism including slow tourism and smart tourism may also drive future tourism activities. Such changes are likely to force businesses to reconsider their service designs and distribution channels.

Research limitations/implications

While Chinese and other potential visitors rethink how they travel, professionals, too, should reflect upon how to bring positive or negative changes to the tourism industry following this pandemic. Subsequent research should also consider how to mitigate the effects of similar public health crises in the future.

Practical implications

Recommendations for industry practitioners and policymakers focus on tailoring travel arrangements to tourists’ backgrounds. The suggestions may help to alleviate outbreak-related stress, offer travellers newly enriching experiences and partially mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism and hospitality industry. These recommendations can also apply more broadly to global tourist markets.

Social implications

The COVID-19 outbreak has already brought significant impacts to nearly every society and industry. Tourism scholars and practitioners should carefully consider this tragedy and how it may inform industry and social practices. This and other public health crises represent sterling opportunities to view the industry holistically in terms of its effects on the environment, climate and travellers themselves.


This paper presumably represents a frontier study, critically examining the possible impacts of COVID-19 on Chinese travellers’ consumption patterns and how the tourism and hospitality industry may respond to such changes in the future.


预计2019年新型冠状病毒(COVID-19)爆发将对全球旅游和酒店业产生不利影响。本文预测, COVID-19可能会影响中国旅客的消费方式, 例如自由行, 豪华旅行以及健康与养生旅游的普及。包括慢速旅游和智能旅游在内的新型旅游形式也可能推动未来的旅游活动。这种变化可能促使企业重新考虑其服务设计和分销渠道。针对行业从业者和政策制定者的建议着重于根据游客的背景和需求量身定制旅行安排。我们的建议可能有助于减轻与疫情暴发导致的压力, 为旅行者提供全新的丰富体验, 并从一定程度减轻COVID-19对旅游业和酒店业的影响。这些建议还可以更广泛地应用于全球旅游市场。


COVID-19, 生活方式 旅游行为 灾后 集体主义倾向 中国

El extracto

El impacto del COVID-19 se prevé importante en la actividad turística global y en la industria de la hostelería. Este artículo predice que el COVID-19 afectará con probabilidad alta los patrones de consumo de los viajeros chinos, incluyendo los cada vez más populares viajes comprados directamente por los consumidores chinos, en el segmento del lujo, y el turismo de salud y belleza. Nuevas formas de turismo, incluyendo el slow tourism, y el turismo responsable pueden convertirse en importantes tendencias de futuro igualmente. Dichos cambios llevarán con cierta seguridad a la industria a reconsiderar y adaptar su oferta de servicios en este sector, en particular su diseño y los canales de distribución utilizados. Las recomendaciones para la industria y los responsables de la política turística se alinean con una mayor proximidad de la oferta a los gustos cambiantes del consumidor. Dichas acciones ayudarán a reducir fricciones y fallos en la definición del negocio turístico, ofreciendo a los viajeros nuevas y enriquecedoras experiencias, así como podrán mitigar en parte los efectos adversos estimados del COVID-19, los cuales son relevantes a día de hoy. Así mismo, dichas recomendaciones son aplicables de una manera más global a la industria del turismo y la hospitalidad en el mercado mundial.


COVID-19, Estilo de vida, Conducta del viajero, Post-desastre, Orientacion collectivista, China



Wen, J., Kozak, M., Yang, S. and Liu, F. (2021), "COVID-19: potential effects on Chinese citizens’ lifestyle and travel", Tourism Review, Vol. 76 No. 1, pp. 74-87.



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