Increased Golden Week tourism highlights industry potential
Officials reported that more than 700 million people in China traveled during the mid-Autumn Golden Week festival, which occurred last week between October 1 and 8. That figure marks roughly half of the 1.4 billion people who live in China, and represents more than a 10 percent increase on the number who traveled during last year’s festival.
The National Tourism Administration (NTA) reported that 705 million people traveled within China, spending approximately US$87.68 billion. The NTA said this expenditure marked a 13.9 percent increase on the amount of holiday money spent last year.
Officials estimate that at least six million tourists traveled abroad during the holiday. This figure marks roughly the same number of tourists that traveled abroad last year.
Chinese tourists traveling abroad primarily visited locations within Asia. China-based travel services firm Ctrip reported that at least 70 percent of its China outbound tourists visited Asia, with approximately 45 percent of Asia-bound tourists visiting Southeast Asia.
While it is reported that only four percent of China’s population holds passports, China sends more tourists abroad annually than any other country in the world.
The stagnant international travel figures suggest that international destinations and tour operators should consider catering to the China market – the increase in domestic travel during this Golden Week shows that public and private sector investment in tourism pays dividends when it comes to Chinese tourists.
Retail averages US$226 billion a day in sales during Golden Week
The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) reported that retailers and catering firms recorded an average of US$226 billion in daily sales during the Golden Week festival last week. According to the MoC, the US$226 billion marks a 10.3 percent increase on 2016’s daily sales average, which itself was a 10.7 percent increase on 2015’s daily sales average.
Market analysts note that while the growth of expenditure on food and beverage (F&B) experiences remained consistent, Chinese consumers did not spend as much on consumer goods as in years past.
Some observers speculate that some consumers may be waiting to purchase goods during the upcoming Singles’ Day sales on November 11 (also known as “Double Eleven” in China); Alibaba and other e-tailers recorded US$17.8 billion in sales last year on the popular sales day.
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