China’s tourism spending surpasses pre-pandemic level during Lunar New Year

China’s tourism spending surpasses pre-pandemic level during Lunar New Year

China’s tourism sector saw a strong recovery during the Lunar New Year holiday, as official data shows that domestic tourism spending exceeded the level before the Covid-19 outbreak. According to the government figures, domestic tourists spent 632.7 billion yuan ($87.96bn; £69.7bn) during the eight-day holiday, which ended on Sunday. This was a 47% increase from the same period last year, and a 19% increase from 2019. The holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important occasion for family reunions and travel in China.

This year's Lunar New Year saw huge crowds at tourist attractions across China

The data also shows that 474 million domestic trips were made during the holiday, which was a day longer than usual. This was a 34% increase from last year, and also higher than the 2019 figure.

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However, the average spending per trip was lower than in 2019, indicating that consumers were still cautious about their budgets. Analysts from Goldman Sachs said that this suggested “consumption downgrading is still widely seen”1.

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The holiday marked a sharp contrast to last year, when China was under strict lockdowns and travel bans to contain the coronavirus. This year, most of the country had lifted the restrictions, and people were able to visit tourist attractions and celebrate with their families.

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The only exception was the northern province of Hebei, which had a recent outbreak and imposed a lockdown on its capital, Shijiazhuang

The surge in tourism spending was a welcome sign for China’s economy, which has been facing multiple challenges, such as a property market crisis, weak exports, and deflationary pressures.

The economy grew by 2.3% last year, the slowest pace in more than four decades, but still outperformed most of the world. On Sunday, the government also released data that showed that foreign direct investment (FDI) into China fell to the lowest level since 1993, reflecting the impact of the pandemic and the trade tensions with the US.

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Source : BBC NEWS

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