Travel bookings confirm strong recovery of Spring Festival holiday consumption

Xinhua
With the Spring Festival just around the corner, Cheng Wanqi has already booked hotel rooms for her family in south China's island province of Hainan.
Xinhua

With the Spring Festival just around the corner, Cheng Wanqi has already booked hotel rooms for her family in south China's island province of Hainan.

Instead of returning to hometown for their family reunion this year, Cheng has chosen to take her family on a trip elsewhere during this traditional Chinese festival.

China's service-focused e-commerce giant Meituan Dianping has revealed that during this year's Spring Festival holiday, tourism consumption including the likes of accommodation, scenic spot tickets, and transportation will enjoy a strong recovery, with the number of orders for Spring Festival travel consumption booked half a month in advance increasing about 5-fold compared with 2023.

Several cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Sanya, Harbin, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xi'an and others have become popular tourist destinations in China, while the number of Chinese booking overseas vacations has also been increasing, said the company.

In addition, bookings and orders for the traditional family reunion dinner on the eve of the Spring Festival have seen a sharp rise. An increasing number of consumers are ordering full meals or adding dishes to their meals through takeaway services via online platforms, according to the data from Meituan Dianping. In the first week of February, the number of bookings for dine-in family reunion dinners at restaurants had increased by nearly 70 percent compared with the previous week.

Data released by an online retail platform linked to Meituan Dianping on Wednesday showed that during the past month, sales of liquor, milk and cherries have reached a new high, while the sales of many categories of goods such as home appliances, beauty care products, pet products, maternal and child products, and clothing have increased by over 100 percent.

Pinduoduo, a leading Chinese e-commerce platform, launched a Chinese Lunar New Year shopping campaign in January, together with businesses from around the country, to ensure the supply of groceries for the festival. According to a staff member with Pinduoduo, the sales volume of various commodities has increased to varying degrees, among which the sales volume of high-quality fresh foods such as cherries, strawberries and king crabs has increased especially significantly.

Han Yang, who has worked in Beijing for five years, bought some food and fruits online for his parents who live in his hometown – Xuchang in central China's Henan Province.

"Although I will go back to my hometown during the holiday, I still chose to buy gifts for them via online platforms in advance, which is very convenient," Han said.

"Impressive pre-holiday booking data underlines strong recovery in Spring Festival consumption," said Li Jiwei, deputy dean of Meituan Research Institute, while adding that the positive purchasing trend had also ushered in a good start for online consumption in 2024.

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