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Chinese Tourism Growth Plunges as Overseas Travel Loses its Attraction

The rapid development of Chinese tourism took a bit of a breather in the course of the latest week-long National Day holiday, authorities data indicate.

The seven-day vacation from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 is dubbed “Golden Week” and is one of the few major government-mandated holidays in a nation where personal vacation days are few. This year’s National Day was significantly significant domestically since it revolved around massive celebrations on Oct. 1 for the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party’s rule.

Chinese vacationer sites received 782 million visits throughout the holiday, up well over 7% from 2018’s 726 million, based on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. However, that’s slower than the projected growth of over 9% in 2018, and down from a 10% increase in 2017.

Retail and food and beverage sales from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 grew 8.5% to 1.52 trillion yuan ($212.7 billion), according to the Ministry of Commerce. While an influential figure, that’s a slower pace than the Commerce Ministry’s claims of around 10% or higher progress for earlier years.

Chinese authorities try to boost domestic consumption to support economic development. Shortly after a crucial government meeting in March, authorities announced the May 1 Labor Day holiday could be extended by two days by swapping those working days with weekends, as is usual in China.

Tourism growth slowed during another golden week this year, the Lunar New Year holiday in February. The official figure for overseas travel during that interval was not clear in regards to the actual rate of change.

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