Chinese New Year Tourism Revenue Exceeds $61b
China's tourism revenues reached 423.3 billion yuan ($61.55 billion) during the recent Lunar New Year festival, up 15.9% against last year, the China National Tourism Administration said late on Thursday.
However, the rate of growth, driven by 344 million domestic tourist trips, was slightly slower than the 16.3% rise seen in the corresponding year-ago period. Some 6.15 million Chinese tourists went abroad, which is up around 7% year-on-year, CNTA was cited as reporting by Reuters.
China's tourism industry is key to the country's shift towards a more services-driven economy and is a useful indicator of the strength of consumer spending. The domestic sector raked in 3.9 trillion yuan in 2016, which Beijing wants to raise to 7 trillion yuan by 2020, the official news agency Xinhua said.
By 2020, investment in tourism is expected to grow to 2 trillion yuan and the sector will contribute more than 12% of GDP, according to a five-year tourism plan (2016-20).
China's retail and catering firms saw sales over the weeklong holiday amounted to 840 billion yuan, the commerce ministry said in a separate statement, up 11.4% over 2016.
Lunar New Year in China is closely watched, as it marks a spike in tourism and retail spending when millions of people return home or go on vacation domestically or overseas.