China’s 2024 New Year holiday sees record consumption boom

China’s New Year holiday ended on Monday, with outstanding performance in the consumption sector, marked by flourishing travel and spending activities.

A total of 135 million domestic passenger trips were made during the three-day holiday, up 155.3 percent year on year, according to estimates from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday. Domestic tourism revenue came in at 79.73 billion yuan ($11.17 billion), more than triple the same period in 2023.

The cross-border travel market also thrived during the holiday. About 5.18 million border crossings were made across the Chinese mainland, posting a near fivefold increase from a year ago, said the National Immigration Administration on Tuesday. Bookings for overseas trips soared 388 percent on Ctrip, one of the largest online travel agencies in China.

Smart home appliances, food and beverage, and traditional clothes were among the hot-selling consumer products during the holiday period. Retail and catering businesses registered an 11 percent year-on-year rise in sales, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Meanwhile, China’s box office racked up a record high revenue of approximately 1.53 billion yuan, according to the China Film Administration. This figure has surpassed the previous record of 1.3 billion yuan in 2021.

There has been continuous rebound in service consumption, with a sound momentum of growth seen in travel, catering and entertainment over the holiday period, said Hong Yong, research fellow at the e-commerce research department of the Ministry of Commerce.

As the economy picks up further and supportive policy measures take effect, more new highlights are expected in the consumer market, propelling an even stronger recovery in the sector, said Hong.

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