(Bloomberg) -- Chinese international travel is set to boom when the nation’s borders finally reopen, according to the chief executive officer of luggage maker Samsonite International SA.
“The real hold back for China unleashing will be international travel, which is still down 95%,” Samsonite chief Kyle Gendreau said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday. “When that releases, the Chinese consumers’ pent-up demand for travel will be the same as we’ve seen everywhere else in the world and when it does open I expect it to really open with a boom.”
China has been mostly closed to the rest of the world since the pandemic began as the government adheres to a strict Covid-zero policy, wiping out a key global travel market.
Read more: Chinese Tourists’ Disappearance Is Remaking Hong Kong Retail
Samsonite turned to a first-half profit of $56.3 million, compared to a $142.5 million loss a year earlier, the company said earlier this week.
The stock has risen almost 24% this year, and more than tripled from its lows of March 2020 when countries shut borders during the first wave of the pandemic, decimating the travel industry.
Still, the share price hasn’t recovered to the levels of 2018, when it was targeted by short-seller Blue Orca Capital LLC over allegations that then-CEO Ramesh Tainwala had falsified his educational credentials. Tainwala resigned in June 2018.
(Corrects spelling of company name in first, second paragraphs.)
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