Both sales and tourism up over 10% for holiday

Xinhua
Shops and restaurants across China reported robust sales during the weeklong Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed yesterday.
Xinhua

Shops and restaurants across China reported robust sales during the weeklong Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed yesterday.

Sales in the retail and catering sectors reached 926 billion yuan (US$146 billion) during the week, up 10.2 percent from last year’s holiday, the ministry said.

Sales of traditional festival-related goods, organic food, jewelry, apparel, household appliances and digital products maintained rapid growth.

Major organic food producers in Jiangxi, Qinghai and Shandong provinces saw double-digit sales growth, while major jewelry stores in Shaanxi and Guizhou provinces reported sales increases of 43 percent and 30.6 percent respectively, compared with last year’s holiday.

Dog-themed accessories were most favored by consumers as this year is the Year of the Dog in the 12-animal Chinese zodiac.

In the catering market, family dinners on the Chinese New Year’s Eve were almost fully booked at some restaurants, and numerous restaurants worked with online platforms to offer delivered dinners or home cooking services.

Consumption in culture and entertainment was also strong, with China’s box office raking in 4.6 billion yuan over the February 16-20 period, up nearly 60 percent from the first six days of last year’s Spring Festival.

China, meanwhile, posted a double-digit growth in tourism revenue during the weeklong holiday.

Official data showed yesterday that the tourism industry garnered 475 billion yuan in revenue, up 12.6 percent from last year’s holiday, according to the China National Tourism Administration.

Some 386 million trips by tourists were made, up 12.1 percent from last year’s holiday, the tourism administration said.

Guangdong, Sichuan and Hunan received the most tourists among all provincial regions.

Nearly half of travelers drove instead of taking public transport. Overseas travel remained popular, with Chinese tourists from nearly 200 cities visiting 68 countries and regions during the holiday.

Southeast Asia was the top destination, while long-distance tours to countries including Argentina and Mexico were also popular.

Nearly half of overseas travels were independent tours rather than escorted group tours, the tourism administration cited data from online tour operator Ctrip.com as saying.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, which this year began last Friday, is traditionally a time for family gatherings in China. In recent years, family travels have become increasingly common that help to drive a tourism boom across the country.

China earned 5.4 trillion yuan from tourism in 2017, an increase of 15.1 percent.

The country plans to raise tourism revenue to 7 trillion yuan by 2020 in a bid to develop tourism into a major driver of economic transformation and upgrading.

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