- Chinese consumers opened their wallets to make purchases despite a drop in travel during the week-long National Day holiday ending Thursday.
- The nine duty-free stores in the southern island province of Hainan had sales of about 1.64 billion yuan ($252.3 million) from October 1 to October 6, according to state media.
- However, according to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the tourism expenditure of 389.1 billion yuan from October 1 to October 7 was only 60% compared to 2019, and down 4.7% from the same period in 2020.
BEIJING – Chinese consumers opened their wallets to shop during the week-long National Day holiday ending Thursday, even as travel numbers fell from last year.
A total of nine duty-free shops sold in the southern island province of Hainan According to state media, about 1.64 billion yuan ($252.3 million) from October 1 to October 6.. The report said 2020 saw a 75% increase from the same period, and a jump of more than four times – or 359% – compared to the same period in 2019.
Hainan has become a popular destination for Chinese shoppers who traveled abroad before the pandemic to buy luxury goods.
The pandemic still weighed on this year’s National Day holiday, also known as China’s “Golden Week”. It has historically been a popular time to travel because it is one of two long holidays in a country where workers have few personal vacation days.
However, Beijing’s “zero-tolerance” policy for controlling the pandemic means that stringent contact-tracing and lockdown measures could restrict travel at a moment’s notice – as they Reportedly did this week for tourists in Xinjiang. Unsurprisingly, some schools in Beijing discouraged students and teachers from leaving the capital city for the holiday.
According to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, from October 1 to October 7, tourism spending of 389.1 billion yuan was only 60% compared to 2019, and down 4.7% from the same period in 2020.
The ministry said tourist visits during the week-long holiday this year reached 515 million – about 70% of 2019 levels and down 1.5% from 2020.
Chinese travel booking site Trip.com said Beijing overtakes Shanghai as the most popular destination, Thanks to the newly opened Universal Studios resort on the outskirts of the capital city.
According to Trip.com, nationwide holiday car rental bookings increased by 43% this year compared to the same holiday season in 2019. One-way plane ticket prices rose 7% to 821 yuan from a year earlier, the report said.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.