Chinese tourism booms as New Year approaches: experts


As New Year approaches, experts noted that the Chinese economy remains on the trajectory of accelerating recovery, with new growth drivers continuously emerging which keeps fuelling the momentum well into 2024. Data from major travel platforms has indicated a comprehensive recovery for both domestic and cross-border tourism, Global Times reported.
As of December 15, overall travel bookings for the New Year’s Day holiday had surged more than threefold compared to the previous year, with hotel reservations experiencing a remarkable increase of over fivefold. Airline ticket bookings have seen a remarkable growth of 205 percent year-on-year, according to data sent to the Global Times by the online travel agency
The tourism sector has shown a remarkable recovery throughout the year, especially with the speeded-up integration of “cultural, sports and tourism”. New business patterns are emerging, well embraced by consumers, and are expected to further propel the recovery of the economy, experts said.
Per data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on December 15, the services industry experienced rapid growth in November, as year-on-year growth of the national service production index came in at 9.3 percent, accelerating 1.6 percentage points compared to the previous month.
In the first three quarters, China’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached 34.2 trillion yuan ($4.79 trillion), up 6.8 percent year-on-year. Final consumption expenditure contributed 83.2 percent to economic growth in the first three quarters, contributing 4.4 percentage points to GDP growth. In the third quarter alone, final consumption expenditure contributed 94.8 percent to economic growth, NBS data showed. In a recent exclusive interview with the Global Times, Steven Alan Barnett, senior IMF resident representative in China said that the performance in
the first three quarters of this year was stronger than expected. A key factor was strong growth in household consumption.
The New Year’s Day and the upcoming Spring Festival holidays constitute a traditional peak season for consumption. Coupled with the thriving winter consumption trends, from tourism and cultural activities to the brisk sales of winter heating products, all will significantly contribute to enhancing consumption vitality and driving economic growth in the new year, Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research Institute, told the Global Times.
In addition to the booming domestic tourism and related consumption, China has also made concrete efforts to boost cross-border trips in the year, from optimising entry and exit procedures to expanding the list of countries eligible for unilateral visa-free access.
Meanwhile, Chinese tourists have been a crucial source of visitors for numerous international tourist destinations. With China continuously deepening its opening-up policies, both China’s inbound and outbound tourism will be significant forces in promoting the recovery of the international tourism industry, experts stressed.

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