Doomsayers and pessimists have led the online conversation, and let's face it, we're in the middle of a lot of negative news. RCN (Red Circle Network) has produced daily updates curating the most relevant stories, and these clearly show that we're not out of the woods yet. The old adage rings true: Things are going to get worse before they get better.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and I am among a number of China advisors who are pointing out the medium- to long-term positive impacts and social change occurring as a direct result of the Coronavirus. E.g. take a look at this article by Fionn Wright.
Travel in 2020
RCN conducted a quick WeChat spot survey, shared via Simon Young 杨瑾鸿 WeChat Chinese social media accounts, which reach up to 26,000 Chinese citizens worldwide.
在2020年旅行 | Travel in 2020.武汉冠状病毒如何影响您和您的家人的旅行计划和假期？| How has the Wuhan Coronavirus affected travel plans and holidays for you and your family?
The kinds of questions that we asked included:
What it's like for their family during the Coronavirus crisis,
What have the impacts been on travel plans,
Who has this affected in the family,
How will they plan future travel
Are they open to receiving support from Western tourism businesses to book their travel.
What we have learned
Chinese families have experienced disruption to all aspects of life.
Biggest disruption has been to family travel plans.
Other areas include:
Survey respondents planned travel to destinations including:
other Asian locations,
including within China.
Chinese people are:
using the internet more
spending more time on WeChat.
looking for information about health,
connecting with family and friends
Hope for tourism:
More than a third of respondents are willing to hear from Western tourism companies to receive help to book their forthcoming travel.
Chinese travelers are looking forward to the end of the crisis, so they can resume travel plans.
Other areas including study and employment have also been disrupted.
Survey respondents had travel plans to ... almost everywhere
(including a lot of internal travel within China).
Our survey also asked if people were willing to hear from travel and tourism operators with special offers for those disadvantaged by Coronavirus. This is a win-win for both parties - travelers get to travel, and tour operators get their Chinese market back on track.
More than a third of respondents have opted in to special deals that can help them travel.
China Social Intelligence
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