- Guo Guangchang: Fosun will accelerate its development to support the recovery of the tourism industry under the post-pandemic "new normal"
- Release Time: Dec 09, 2020
Under China's "dual circulation" economic strategy, which suggests that the country should mainly rely on "internal circulation"—the domestic cycle of production, distribution, and consumption—for its development and that "internal circulation" will be supported by "external circulation", firstly, in terms of the supply side, we should expedite an industrial upgrade and reduce our dependence on overseas products by providing alternative domestic solutions; secondly, as for national demand, we should facilitate a consumption upgrade and seek economic growth driven by domestic demand. From the perspective of cultural tourism, whether it is from the supply side or the demand side, we need to upgrade our cultural tourism products.
On December 9, the Global Tourism Economy Forum, organized by the government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), was held in Macao. Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun International, was invited to make a keynote speech at the forum. Fosun International is a global company headquartered in China. Chairman Guo delivered a memorable speech on how to spur tourism industry recovery and how Fosun Tourism Group should promote its business development under the post-pandemic "new normal".
The Global Tourism Economy Forum is an international platform designed to compare notes and promote the sustainable development of global tourism with a focus on China. Since its inauguration in Macao in 2012, the forum has achieved a leading position in international forums. In 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak posed serious challenges to global tourism. The Global Tourism Economy Forum was one of the few international platforms that discussed tourism innovation and capabilities in response to new global trends, and the participants elaborated on the transformation of the tourism industry under the post-pandemic new normal, exploring ways to provide new products and services unfettered by the macro environment or business operations.
Below are the highlights of his speech.
Fosun's tourism products have gained strong recovery momentum, and vaccines provided by Fosun Pharma will directly benefit the tourism industry.
COVID-19 has severely disrupted the world's economy, especially the tourism industry, but I believe that the darkest moment for the tourism industry has passed, especially in the domestic market. We can see this by looking at Fosun's Atlantis hotels as their business has fully recovered in July. They have seen an increase in both earnings and tourist volume in the third quarter, as well as substantial year-on-year growth. Meanwhile, our five Club Med perennial resorts in China also saw year-on-year growth since August. When the snow season kicked off, Fosun's two domestic ski resorts reopened in succession, and the rooms were fully booked throughout the peak season.
World economic recovery is built on the concerted effort of everyone in the world. Through our joint effort and by leveraging medical technologies for constant innovation, we have hope that COVID-19 vaccines can be ushered in globally soon. Fosun Pharma has been actively cooperating with German biotechnology company BioNTech to develop an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine since March. The COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by Fosun Pharma highlights China's drug research capabilities and global collaboration. Fosun Pharma is also participating in clinical trials and applying to the Chinese regulatory authority for vaccine approval. We hope that it can get emergency use authorization as soon as possible in order to help China and the rest of the world to fight the virus. The tourism industry will benefit the most from a world-wide vaccination program. The overseas tourism market has been hit especially hard by the second wave of COVID-19, which has led to lockdowns in many European regions that anticipated potential tourists. With the commencement of a vaccination program and the rapid testing in overseas countries, it is expected that the European resort business will dip and then start to recover in the first quarter. Club Med is currently planning to reopen most of its ski resorts in January. Meanwhile, we have restarted outbound tourism in France. We are recommending coastal resorts in the Maldives, North Africa, and the Caribbean to European guests for their Christmas and New Year holiday, and we currently have strong pre-order sales.
Fosun will speed up its business layout in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and continuously optimize and upgrade its tourism products to meet post-pandemic market demand.
Macao plays a vital role in the development of the Greater Bay Area. Fosun has always been optimistic about the development potential of Macao. As an important platform that promotes communication between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, Macao plays an important role in economy, culture, and commerce. Fosun has a business layout in Portugal, and we also have great affection for Macao. Our insurance company Fidelidade has grown in Macao for many years, and BCP Bank, Banque de Commerce et de Placements Ltd., has served the Macao market for over 20 years. In the future, Fosun will develop more business plans in the health, entertainment, and wealth management sectors of Macao and actively participate in the development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. We also hope that our Fosun nucleic acid vaccines can get emergency use approval in Macao as soon as possible to support the city's economic recovery.
The general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announced the "dual circulation" strategy for reducing dependency on foreign markets and allowing domestic circulation supported by external circulation. Firstly, in terms of the supply side, we should expedite an industrial upgrade and reduce our dependence on overseas products by providing alternative domestic solutions; secondly, as for national demand, we should facilitate a consumption upgrade and seek economic growth driven by domestic demand. From the perspective of cultural tourism, whether it is from the supply side or the demand side, we need to upgrade our cultural tourism products. After the outbreak of COVID-19, we noticed the toll it has taken on long-distance travel and overseas trips. In contrast, domestic travel and weekend getaways have been favored by consumers. Long-distance travel being relatively uncommon is actually one of the main characteristics of China's tourism market. Consumers are keen on short-distance travel for two main reasons: First, domestic transportation is more convenient and household income has increased; Second, limited holidays and work system make it difficult for people to take long vacations. Nowadays, except for natural scenery and historical and cultural heritage sites, there are few tourism products that can attract tourists to stay for multiple days. How can we promote tourism on the outskirts of a city and create a better holiday experience for family customers? This will be a new development opportunity for the cultural tourism industry.
By building the "FOLIDAY" lifestyle, Fosun is committed to delivering happiness to a greater range of families worldwide.
"FOLIDAY" is one of the concepts that is actively promoted by Fosun Tourism Group. FOLIDAY can be summarized as a 3F lifestyle: the first F represents "fun". It is our priority to provide consumers with a lot of interesting experiences. The second F is for "family". Family is a big part of this concept. The third F is for "friends" and socializing. Based on our FOLIDAY concept, we introduce the idea of "FOLIDAY Town". As a cultural travel destination, "FOLIDAY Town" is a theme park designed to embody our high-quality FOLIDAY lifestyle. Each "FOLIDAY Town" has its own characteristics, sharing some common features while still remaining distinct from each other. The cultural tourism industry should have capabilities for sustainable innovation to pursue differentiated development.
FOLIDAY also has a slogan — "Everyday is FOLIDAY". We want to introduce a vacation lifestyle to the customers' daily life and hope that they can "live every day like a holiday". The core of FOLIDAY is to turn tourism into an emotionally driven consumption and lifestyle. A good tourism product must integrate good timing, good view and right people. Therefore, the tourism industry should develop some unique programs that create an emotional connection with customers. I believe this will be the development trend of tourism industry in the future.
In addition to focusing on the tourism industry, we should also tap the potential of more collaboration and innovative development between the tourism and other industries in the post-pandemic era. Fosun has always been deeply developing the health, entertainment, and wealth sectors. The entertainment sector has not only collaborated with fashion, sports, Chinese resurgence, and other industries, but also interacts well with the big health sector, including health care, elderly care, and medical aesthetics. Furthermore, tourism and finance can also collaborate for product innovation. All of these bring more possibilities and greater space for the innovation-oriented development of the cultural tourism industry.
By advocating the future lifestyle of "Every day is FOLIDAY", Fosun will develop a global business plan based on innovative vacation products, content, and models to constantly develop a more dynamic FOLIDAY ecosystem and meet increasing vacation needs. In the post-pandemic era, the next 5–10 years will be a golden period for the investment and expansion of China's cultural tourism industry. The global economy and trade will quickly reorient in the Asia-Pacific region. While actively leveraging the recovery of global tourism industry, Fosun will continue to grow the Chinese market, including Macao, and seize the great growth opportunities of the market.