China’s Golden Week Holiday Boosts Consumer Spending

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Oct. 7 – According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the October National Holiday boosted consumer spending and travel in the country to record levels.

The weeklong holiday runs from September 29 to October 5 in commemoration of the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

The government had lifted travel restrictions prior to the Olympics to push domestic tourism. Last week, air travel passenger numbers increased by 14.8 percent compared to last year’s figures.

An estimated 18.29 million domestic tourists traveled to 119 major tourist destinations during the holidays, a 13.2 percent increase from 2007, according to the National Tourism Administration (NTA).Total tourist ticket sales jumped by 16.4 percent, while national retail sales amounted to RMB420 billion – up by 21 percent.

According to Xinhua, tourism revenue during the period reached RMB79.6 billion yuan , up 24.2 percent with per capita spending averaging RMB448.

Beijing was the top destination of choice for domestic tourists because of the Olympics venues with the city hosting 35 percent more travellers. The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism said that at least 8.02 million people visited the city during the week, including 2.35 million overseas visitors that brought in RMB5.25 billion worth of revenue, up by 27 percent from the same period last year.

Olympic venue cities like Tianjin, Shanghai, and Qingdao, also reported peak tourist arrivals during the same week as well as cities like Guangzhou, Guilin and Xiamen.

“Although most tourist spots have attracted a growing number of visitors, Beijing was still the first choice for most tourists during the Golden Week because of the Olympic Games,” Jia Shuo, an employee with the Beijing Great Wall International Travel Agency told China Daily.