Lack of tourists + Italy's anti-China stance
Europe's tourism industry sighs in relief: Whether in Italy, Greece, or at Germany's North and Baltic Seas – this summer, tourist records are broken everywhere. But amid all the celebration, one crucial point is overlooked. A very important tourist group is missing: China's middle class. That is because Beijing's strict zero-Covid policy currently makes it almost impossible for the Chinese to travel outside the country.
Our Beijing author team shows that the absence of the extremely solvent Chinese will hit the European tourism industry hard. And it won't stop there, because other economic sectors will also be affected – for example, luxury goods manufacturers. Before the pandemic, the Chinese spent a whopping $93 billion a year on fancy handbags or fine watches – around a third of global sales in that sector.
Somehow it seems that now is the time for China critics: In the UK, Liz Truss will become the new Prime Minister. The former Foreign Minister follows a strict anti-China approach. Amelie Richter analyzes similar developments in Italy. On September 25, a new parliament will be elected – and the favored right-wing alliance around Giorgia Meloni has the best chance of appointing the new prime minister. Meloni herself is already sending out clear signals – against Beijing.