The tourism industry in China finished another another holiday with revenues that were significantly lower than they had been prior to the pandemic.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported late Monday that the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival brought in a total of 28.68 billion yuan ($4.16 billion) nationwide, which is just 60.6% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. The statistic likewise represented a 22.8% drop from the previous year.
The ministry reported that 73.4 million tourist journeys were almost 17% below 2018 levels and had just recovered to 72.6% of 2019 levels.
Ting Lu, the head economist for China at Nomura, noted that the tourism numbers decreased more than they did over the previous public holiday in early June.
“The worsening business activity was mainly due to the tightened Covid control measures, as individuals have been advised to stay local and avoid unnecessary trips during the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday (1-7 October),” in a report dated Monday, he stated. October will bring the following public holiday in China.
Since the virus began to spread in early 2020, Chinese tourism has declined. According to the tourism ministry, the total amount of money made from domestic travel last year was around half of what it was in 2019.
The first six months of this year’s data revealed a decrease of roughly 28% from the same time in 2021. Additionally, China has been battling breakouts all throughout the nation, particularly on the tourist island of Hainan, since the two-month lockdown in Shanghai ended in June.
This year, the Mid-Autumn Festival began on Saturday and ran through the following Monday as a public holiday.
People were reluctant to visit movie theaters, even if they didn’t have to drive very far. According to data from movie ticketing website Maoyan, the long weekend box office came in at 370 million yuan ($53.44 million), which is the lowest since 2017.
Despite having more than twice the number of movie showings, the data showed that the number of visits to movie theaters—about 9.2 million—was the lowest since 2013.
Online shopping is a plus
However, at least in terms of volume, internet purchasing maintained steady.
Similar to last year, the Chinese postal service reported handling roughly 1.8 billion packages throughout the vacation. According to a formal assessment, the 2021 values were significantly higher than the 2019 levels. This year, a 2019 comparison wasn’t made public.
China’s National Health Commission urged citizens to stay home over the holidays and steer clear of holding big-group gatherings last week.
The commission highlighted that, as has been standard procedure in at least some locations, travelers must present negative results from virus testing done within the previous 48 hours while transferring across provinces. According to the health authority, this Covid policy would be in effect until October 31 and then be adjusted as necessary after that.
Infections linked to two universities and a secondary school in the city have been recorded in the past several days in Beijing, which will play host to a momentous political gathering next month. The city’s economic and social life is mostly unaffected.
According to state media, a town in the adjacent province of Hebei said that beginning on Tuesday, it will essentially go into lockdown for four days owing of a local Covid infection linked to Beijing.
This month, the panda-centered city of Chengdu in the southwest issued a stay-at-home directive while officials carried out widespread virus testing. The city government reports that although restrictions have started to soften recently, businesses are still not allowed to allow customers to eat in.
A holiday-time government meeting
China’s Premier Li Keqiang presided over a special discussion regarding the economy on Monday as the general public was still celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, according to state media. According to the report, all four of China’s vice premiers were there.
The first half of the year saw national economic growth slump to 2.5%, much below the declared projection of roughly 5.5%.
A downturn in China’s enormous real estate market is a factor that exacerbates the impact from Covid regulations. According to trade figures for August released this week, exports are probably not going to underpin domestic economy as much as they once did as global demand declines.
Retail sales, industrial production, and investment data for China are scheduled to be released on Friday.