China's booming travel consumption drives up car rental orders
China's car rental services have seen robust business growth thanks to a strong recovery in the tourism market.
Domestic car rental services giant CAR Inc. said the total orders for its car rental services during the July-August period surged some 50 percent year on year and exceeded that of 2019, as many people chose to travel during the summer vacation.
The orders from new users climbed nearly 80 percent, logging a record high, and cross-city orders made up over 80 percent of the total orders, it added.
The company also saw a boost in long-period car rental services, with orders for rental periods of five days or more rising 70 percent year on year.
As the country's new energy vehicle (NEV) infrastructure, like charging stations, improves, rental service orders for NEVs skyrocketed over 150 percent year on year, data from CAR Inc. showed.
The summer tourism market posted a strong recovery that surpassed that of 2019. Domestic tourist trips this summer surpassed 1.8 billion in number, generating a total tourism revenue of 1.21 trillion yuan (about 137.6 billion US dollars), according to the China Tourism Academy.
The company said bookings during the August 17-September 15 period for car rental services for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday gained over 200 percent year on year and over 30 percent compared with 2019.
The service sector posted remarkable performance this year, serving as a major underpinning of China's economic growth.
Official data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that prices related to travel and accommodation rose faster in August than in July, pointing to the strong driving force of services consumption.
"Public consumption steam has been gathering, evidenced by the robust travel market," said NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui, who estimated that services consumption growth might maintain a fast clip thanks to the upcoming 8-daylong holiday.