January 27, 2023

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China’s tourism revenue has been below pre-Covid 2019 levels amid lockdowns

China's tourism revenue has been below pre-Covid 2019 levels amid lockdowns

National tourism revenue for the long weekend ending Monday was 28.68 billion yuan ($4.16 billion), just 60.6% of pre-epidemic levels in 2019, according to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Pictured here are visitors to the Nantong Intercontinental Green Expo Park in Jiangsu Province on September 11, 2022.

Vcg | China Optical Group | Getty Images

BEIJING – China’s tourism sector ended another public holiday with much lower revenue than before the outbreak.

The national tourism revenue for the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival reached 28.68 billion yuan ($4.16 billion) – just 60.6% of pre-pandemic levels for 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said late Monday. % over last year.

The ministry said that 73.4 million tourist trips were about 17% less than last year, recovering only to 72.6% from 2019 levels.

Ting Lu, Nomura’s chief China economist, noted that tourism numbers fell more than during the last public holiday in early June.

“The deteriorating business activity is mainly due to the tightening of Covid control measures, as individuals were advised to stay local and avoid non-essential travel during the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday (October 1-7),” he said in a report. dated Monday. China’s next public holiday will be in October.

Chinese tourism has declined since the outbreak of the epidemic in early 2020. Domestic tourism revenue for the whole of last year has been About half of what it was in 2019, According to the Ministry of Tourism.

This year, figures for the first six months showed a decrease of about 28% from the same period in 2021. Since Shanghai’s two-month lockdown ended in June, China has battled outbreaks across the country, including in Hainan Island Resort.

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This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival officially arrived on Saturday, with the public holiday continuing into Monday.

Even if people do not travel far, they will not be inclined to go to the cinemas. The weekend’s box office hit 370 million yuan ($53.44 million), the lowest since 2017, according to data from movie ticket website Maoyan.

The data showed that cinema visits – about 9.2 million – were the lowest since 2013, despite more than three times the number of movie shows.

Online shopping: a bright spot

However, online shopping has stopped, at least in terms of volume.

China Post said it handled nearly 1.8 billion parcels during the holiday, similar to last year. The 2021 figures were more than 90% of the 2019 levels, according to an official report. The 2019 comparison has not been released this year.

Last week, China’s National Health Commission encouraged people to stay put during the holidays and avoid holding large mass events.

The committee stressed that when moving between provinces, travelers need to show negative results for virus tests taken in the past 48 hours – as has been the general practice in at least some areas. The health authority said this Covid policy will run until October 31, with subsequent adjustments as needed.

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The capital, Beijing, which is scheduled to Hosting a historic political meeting next monthIn the past several days, it has reported infections linked to two universities and a middle school in the city. Commercial and social activity in the city remains largely unaffected.

However, due to local Covid infections linked to Beijing, a town in neighboring Hebei Province said that from Tuesday, it will essentially be closed for four days, according to state media.

This month, the southwestern city of Chengdu – known as the center of pandas – ordered people to stay indoors while authorities conduct mass virus testing. Restrictions have begun to ease in the past few days, but restaurants are still not allowing people to eat, according to the city government.

Government meeting during the holiday

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