China sees spending and travel plummet during COVID-hit Labor Day holiday


BEIJING: Chinese travelers spent 43% less during the five-day Labor Day holiday that ended Wednesday than a year earlier, government data shows, as the tightening of coronavirus prevention measures COVID-19 rolled out across the country has affected consumption.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on Wednesday that China’s domestic travel revenue fell to 64.7 billion yuan ($9.78 billion) and the 160 million trips made during the holidays marked a decline of 30.2% year over year.

Labor Day from April 30 to May 4 is traditionally one of China’s busiest tourist seasons as spring turns into summer, but it has been disrupted this year by efforts to combat the world’s largest epidemic. COVID in China since the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan at the end of 2019.

Reuters reported last week that hotels across the country had slashed prices by up to 50%, with room rates in many Chinese cities hitting a five-year low for the holiday season as hotels braced for a drop in the number of passengers.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism attributed the decline to COVID prevention and control policies affecting urban and rural residents nationwide.

He also said tourist traffic was weak in popular domestic destinations, including the tropical island of Hainan, Jiuzhaigou National Park and West Lake in Hangzhou city, all of which reported a sharp drop in traffic. number of visitors.

Hotel occupancy in Sanya, a destination on Hainan Island popular for duty-free shopping, was just 20.6 percent during the holiday, according to ministry data.

Five-day box office receipts of 297 million yuan during the holiday were the lowest in recent years, and down sharply from last year’s 1.67 billion yuan, the platform showed. online ticketing company Dengta, supported by Alibaba.

Dozens of cities across China have imposed full or partial shutdowns to combat the spread of COVID-19, including Shanghai, the country’s most populous city.

Beijing, the capital, has also imposed movement restrictions and closed many leisure and tourist venues, including the city’s Universal Studios complex.

(1 USD = 6.6130 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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