Shanghai sees huge surge in tourism spending over holiday

Huang Yixuan
Shanghai enjoyed a significant increase in tourism spending over the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, with offline consumption amounting to 44.92 billion yuan.
Huang Yixuan

The Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday in Shanghai witnessed a remarkable surge in consumption and tourism, as the city embraced a joyful holiday spirit.

Shanghai experienced a vibrant and prosperous atmosphere as the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day overlapped this year, during which the city's major commercial areas, streets and malls attracted hordes of enthusiastic consumers.

According to consumer big data monitoring, the total offline consumption amount during the holiday period reached a staggering 44.92 billion yuan (US$6.24 billion). This remarkable figure reflects the eagerness of residents and visitors to engage in holiday-related purchases.

Various sectors experienced substantial growth, with electronic products leading the way with a year-on-year growth rate of 103.8 percent. Department stores, stationery and sporting goods stores, and convenience stores also saw significant increases of 57.3 percent, 26.4 percent, and 17.8 percent respectively. Online consumption of physical retail goods were also significant, amounting to 31.39 billion yuan.

The holiday period was characterized by a surge in the number of visitors to key commercial districts. A total of 37.89 million people visited the 35 key commercial districts, representing a significant increase of 34.6 percent from a year earlier and 19.8 percent compared with the same holiday period in 2019.

Nanjing Road W., Lujiazui, and Nanjing Road E. emerged as the top three commercial districts in terms of consumption, which managed to achieve a growth of 8.1 percent, 10.6 percent, and 7.7 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

Shanghai sees huge surge in tourism spending over holiday
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The influx of visitors from outside Shanghai also contributed significantly to the city's consumption expenditure, which reached 16.3 billion yuan.

The total number of visits made by external visitors amounted to 18.04 million, representing an 18.0 percent increase year on year. With visitors from Jiangsu, Guangdong, Zhejiang provinces accounting for a substantial proportion of external consumption, it is clear that Shanghai remains a popular destination for holiday shopping and tourism.

The holiday season also provided an opportunity for the exploration of new consumption scenes, formats, and products. The Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall's Century Square, as an example, tried to attract social media attention and establish the pedestrian street as a hub for new product launches. The effort paid off, as the total sales of 36 sample companies on the pedestrian mall reached an impressive 610 million yuan, up 7.9 percent compared with the previous year.

Notably, sales at establishments such as Bund Central Plaza, Huawei flagship store, Hongyi Plaza, Nike 001 global flagship store, and Pop Mart global flagship store all exceeded 30 percent year on year. Additionally, Bailian ZX Anime Theme Mall stood out with a daily average footfall of over 60,000 people, achieving a new record for daily sales on September 30.

Meanwhile, Shanghai's cultural and tourism market also showcased a robust performance during the holiday, as the city welcomed a staggering 21.29 million visitors, according to Shanghai tourism big data monitoring.

With no major safety incidents reported, the eight-day holiday period saw a surge in tourism consumption transactions (covering accommodation, dining, transportation, shopping, and entertainment), which reached a total of 29.24 billion yuan, indicating a remarkable year-on-year rise of 29.7 percent, according to the Shanghai UnionPay's statistics.

The holiday season not only bolstered tourism revenue but also demonstrated the recovery of the industry. Star-rated hotels experienced an average occupancy rate of 52.7 percent, marking an increase of 4.5 percentage points compared to the same period last year. Other accommodation establishments also saw a rise in occupancy rates, reaching 54.2 percent with a growth of 1.2 percentage points.

Shanghai's major tourist attractions thrived during the holiday, attracting 9.25 million visitors which rose 25 percent from a year earlier. It was a testament to the city's commitment to becoming the first choice for inbound tourism in China.

The success of Shanghai's cultural and tourism market during the holiday can be attributed to the city's focus on enhancing the overall tourist experience and integrating culture with commerce. To offer high-quality offerings, the city launched a series of recommendations introducing more than 300 diverse cultural and tourism products under five categories, including cultural exhibitions, art exhibitions, theater performances, concerts, and seaside excursions. By combining online and offline experiences, Shanghai aimed to showcase its urban, comprehensive, and international cultural tourism offerings.

The cultural tourism market in Shanghai showed four major characteristics during the holiday season. The relaxation of domestic travel policies and consumer stimulus measures earlier in the year fueled the rise of "new consumption," which included the emergence of fresh formats and unique holiday experiences. The convergence of festivals, exhibitions, and competitions further showcased the advantages of urban tourism, with events like the Shanghai Tourism Festival and Hangzhou Asian Games captivating locals and tourists alike.

Embracing tradition, the city celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival with a range of cultural activities that highlighted the city's rich heritage. These activities promoted the creative transformation and innovative development of traditional Chinese culture.

Another notable trend was the rise of experience-oriented tourism, with Shanghai providing diverse and compelling tourism products that appealed to visitors. Citywalk tours, boutique urban micro-tourism experiences, and archaeological tourism routes captivated tourists seeking an immersive and authentic journey through the city.

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