HomeEconomic IndicatorChina's Lunar New Year travel spending surpasses pre-pandemic levels, according to Reuters.

China’s Lunar New Year travel spending surpasses pre-pandemic levels, according to Reuters.

China’s Lunar New Year Tourism Revenues Surpass Pre-COVID Levels

Domestic Tourism Boom

China’s tourism revenues during the Lunar New Year holidays saw a remarkable surge, exceeding pre-COVID levels by 47.3%. This boost was attributed to a domestic travel boom during the extended holiday period, offering temporary relief to policymakers amidst deflationary risks.

Recovery Amidst Uncertainty

While the surge in domestic tourism spending and trips is a positive sign for the economy, the sustainability of this boost remains uncertain. The tourism revenue per trip still lags behind pre-pandemic levels, indicating ongoing challenges in consumer spending.

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Massive Crowds and Spending

Tourist attractions across China witnessed massive crowds during the holiday period, with domestic tourism spending reaching 632.7 billion yuan ($87.96 billion) and the number of domestic trips growing by 34.3% compared to the previous year.

Comparison to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Compared to the 2019 Lunar New Year holiday, domestic tourism spending rose by 7.7% and domestic trips increased by 19%, despite the 2024 holiday lasting one day longer than in 2019.

Tourism Spending Per Trip

While the average spending per trip during this year’s holiday reached 1,335 yuan, it still represented a 9.5% decrease from 2019 levels, signaling a downward trend in tourism revenue per head.

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International Travel and Entertainment

International travels also saw a significant increase, with around 13.52 million inbound and outbound trips recorded during the holiday, marking a substantial recovery. Additionally, the country’s box office revenue exceeded 8 billion yuan ($1.11 billion) over the eight days, setting a new record high.

Challenges and Policy Measures

China’s economy has been grappling with challenges such as a property downturn and sluggish demand, prompting policymakers to consider stimulus measures to support growth. The central bank’s decision to leave a key policy rate unchanged reflects the delicate balance required to address deflationary pressures.

As the holiday season comes to a close, China’s tourism sector has shown signs of recovery, albeit with lingering uncertainties. The surge in domestic and international travel, coupled with increased entertainment spending, offers a glimpse of hope for the country’s economic revival.

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