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

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National tourism revenue for the long weekend ended Monday reached 28.68 billion yuan ($4.16 billion), only 60.6% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019, in line with China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Pictured listed below are visitors to the Nantong Intercontinental Green Expo Park in Jiangsu province on Sept. 11, 2022.

Vcg | Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s tourism sector ended yet one more public holiday with revenue well below what it was before the pandemic hit.

National tourism revenue for the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival reached 28.68 billion yuan ($4.16 billion) — just 60.6% of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said late Monday. The figure also marked a 22.8% decline from last yr.

Tourist trips of 73.4 million were nearly 17% below last yr’s figure, and had only recovered to 72.6% of 2019 levels, the ministry said.

The tourism figures dropped greater than they did throughout the last public holiday in early June, identified Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura.

“The worsening business activity was mainly on account of the tightened Covid control measures, as individuals have been advised to remain local and avoid unnecessary trips throughout the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday (1-7 October),” he said in a report dated Monday. China’s next public holiday might be in October.

Chinese tourism has slumped for the reason that pandemic hit in early 2020. Domestic tourism revenue for all of last yr was about half of what it was in 2019, in line with the tourism ministry.

This yr, figures for the primary six months showed a drop of about 28% from the identical period in 2021. And since Shanghai’s two-month lockdown resulted in June, China has battled outbreaks across the country, including within the resort island of Hainan.

The Mid-Autumn Festival this yr officially landed on Saturday, with the general public holiday running through Monday.

Even when people didn’t travel far, they weren’t inclined to go to movie theaters. The long-weekend box office got here in at 370 million yuan ($53.44 million), the bottom since 2017, in line with data from movie ticketing site Maoyan.

The variety of movie show visits — about 9.2 million — was the bottom since 2013, despite greater than triple the variety of movie showings, the information showed.

Online shopping: a shiny spot

Nonetheless, online shopping held up, a minimum of by way of volume.

China’s postal authority said it handled nearly 1.8 billion packages throughout the holiday, much like last yr. The 2021 figures were well over 90% of 2019 levels, in line with an official report. A 2019 comparison wasn’t released this yr.

Last week, China’s National Health Commission encouraged people to remain put throughout the holidays and avoid holding large group events.

The commission emphasized that when moving between provinces, travelers need to point out negative virus tests taken inside the last 48 hours — as has been the overall practice for a minimum of some areas. The health authority said this Covid policy would last until Oct. 31, with subsequent adjustments as needed.

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The capital of Beijing, which is ready to host a historic political meeting next month, has reported within the last several days infections tied to 2 universities and a middle school in the town. Business and social activity in the town remain largely unaffected.

Nonetheless, on account of an area Covid infection tied to Beijing, a town within the neighboring province of Hebei said that starting Tuesday, it will essentially lock down for 4 days, in line with state media.

This month, the southwestern city of Chengdu — known for its panda center — ordered people to remain home while authorities conducted mass virus testing. Restrictions began to loosen in the previous few days, but restaurants still cannot let people dine in, in line with the town government.

A government meeting throughout the holiday

On Monday, while the general public was still celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, China’s Premier Li Keqiang headed a special meeting in regards to the economy, in line with state media. All 4 of China’s vice premiers attended, the report said.

National economic growth has slowed — to a pace of two.5% in the primary half of the yr and well below the official goal of around 5.5%.

Adding to the drag from Covid controls is a slump in China’s massive real estate market. Last week, trade data for August indicated that as global demand wanes, exports would likely not support domestic growth as much as they previously did.

China is on account of release August retail sales, industrial production and investment data on Friday.

Why China shows no sign of backing away from its 'zero-Covid' strategy

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