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Chinese market sees better-than-expected recovery during eight-day Golden Week holiday

China had just experienced eight days of national holiday this year as the Mid-Autumn Festival coincided with the country’s 7-day National Day holiday. The super-long Golden Week holiday, lasting from Oct. 1 to 8, unleashed Chinese consumers’ pent-up demand for travel and shopping, bringing a significant recovery to the market.

The sales of key retail and catering firms monitored by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) totaled 1.6 trillion yuan ($239 billion) during this period, with average daily sales rising 4.9 percent compared with the National Day holiday last year, data from the ministry showed.

“It’s been a long time since the last time I watched a film in a theater, so I watched three films in a row this time,” said Li Jianhua, a college student in Chaoyang district of Beijing.

Gong to the movies, visiting exhibitions, watching art performances, and hitting the gym have were popular activities for Chinese people during the Golden Week holiday.

Data from the MOFCOM showed that the country’s box office revenue climbed to nearly 3.7 billion yuan in the first seven days of the extra-long National Day holiday, representing the second highest on record during the same period.

A featured book store in Northwest China’s Qinghai Province became one of the popular go-to destinations; traditional Chinese poetry recitation and Chinese calligraphy attracted many in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province; and more than 15,000 visitors toured an ancient street at the foot of Wangwu Mountain in Jiyuan, Central China’s Henan Province, during a single night.

South China’s Hainan Province has witnessed extremely rich fruits from its offshore duty-free shopping policy during the past Golden Week holiday and significant effect of the policy on attracting consumption backflow from overseas.

In the first seven days of the holiday, the four offshore duty-free shops of Hainan Province in Haikou, Sanya, and Qionghai reported a 167-percent year-on-year growth in retail sales and 64-percent more customers compared to the same period last year.

Other shopping malls in China also saw a significant increase in online and offline transactions. During the first three days of the holiday, the overall customer flow recorded by Intime Retail (Group) Co., Ltd., a famous Chinese department store chain, rose to 90 percent of that during the same period last year, and the sales increased by nearly 20. In addition, the number of the group’s online orders also went up 2.7 times.

From Oct. 1 to 8, China’s railway, highway, waterway, and civil aviation systems witnessed about 62.12 million passenger trips per day on average, among which road transport systems across the country handled an estimated 379 million person-times of passengers during the eight-day holiday, with the number of daily passenger trips averaging 47.37 million person-times.

During the eight-day combined National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, China received a total of 637 million person-times of domestic tourists and realized 79 percent of the number of visits made during the same period last year on a comparable basis, according to a calculation by the Data Center of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism based on data from tourism departments, communication operators, and online travel services providers across the country.

The country saw 466.56 billion yuan in domestic tourism revenue in the past extra-long holiday, with the figure representing 69.9 percent of China’s domestic tourism revenue generated during the same period last year on a comparable basis, suggested the calculation by the Data Center of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The online search volume for services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic such as tourism, film, and wedding has reached pre-pandemic level and even outnumbered that from the same period last year, according to Chinese Internet search engine giant Baidu.

The keyword search volume for “domestic tours,” “short trips,” and “road trips” grew by 4,149 percent, 18 percent, and 36 percent, respectively during the past Golden Week holiday, compared to the same period last year, signaling a robust recovery in Chinese people’s enthusiasm for traveling.

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