* The three-day New Year holiday was marked by a strong recovery in tourism, catering and retail sales across the country.
* China recorded about 52.7 million domestic tourist visits during the three-day New Year holiday, up 0.44 percent year-on-year.
* Data from Trip.com Group showed that the number of one-way plane ticket orders over the New Year holiday soared 145% year-on-year.
BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) — As China has actively optimized and refined its response to COVID-19, the country has also increased the supply of goods and raw materials to boost consumption in the new year.
The three-day New Year holiday was marked by a strong recovery in tourism, catering and retail sales across the country.
On the last day of 2022, more than 59,000 tourists visited Shougang Park in Beijing’s Shijingshan District. The figure was 3.6 times higher than normal days, reflecting citizens’ strong desire to travel.
Visitors enjoy themselves during the ice and snow festival at Yuanmingyuan Park in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 31, 2022. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)
The ice and snow economy also picked up with the changing seasons. Beijing, the city that hosted the Winter Olympics last year, opened all five municipal ice rinks and ski resorts during the three-day New Year holiday.
Parks including the Summer Palace, Beihai Park and Yuanmingyuan Park have launched ice and snow entertainment activities, which have attracted more than 50,000 tourists during the holiday.
Museum exhibits have also proven to be popular punch-in projects during the holidays.
Gu Ying, deputy director of the Miaoying Temple Management Office, said about 2,000 visitors entered the temple in three days, which nearly recovered about 60 percent of the usual visitor flow.
Tourists also boosted consumption — the museum sold 737 cultural and creative products during the holiday — with sales reaching around 48,000 yuan (about $6,909).
People enjoy themselves on the skating rink at Beihai Park in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 31, 2022. (Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao)
Besides parks and scenic spots, shopping malls and restaurants in Chinese cities were also buzzing with shoppers.
According to the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, from December 23, 2022 to January 28, 2023, the city will hold more than 100 consumer promotion activities and provide a large number of commodity discounts.
The Bund, Yu Garden and Nanjing Road pedestrian streets have all seen strong growth in tourist numbers.
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street issued 30,000 coupons, offering discounts of 50 yuan, to encourage shoppers to spend at department stores and restaurants.
During the three-day holiday, popular crawfish restaurant Huda on Guijie Street in Beijing saw customers still queuing for a table to satisfy their cravings at 3.30am.
People dine at a restaurant in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 1, 2023. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)
Zhang Shengtao, operations manager at Huda, said Huda’s three branches received about 11,000 customers in three days, with more than 1,000 tables queuing at peak times.
Huda’s operating profit during the New Year holiday rose 15 percent year on year, Zhang said.
China recorded about 52.7 million domestic tourist visits during the three-day New Year holiday, up 0.44 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Tourism revenue generated during the holidays reached more than 26.5 billion yuan, up 4 percent from the same period last year, according to the ministry.
Travelers walk out of Nanjing Railway Station in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Jan. 2, 2023. (Photo by Su Yang/Xinhua)
Short-distance travel has been particularly popular with travelers during this period, and the data also shows a steady recovery in medium- and long-distance travel levels in the country, the ministry said.
According to data released by Chinese travel service and social networking platform Mafengwo, the popularity of medium and long-distance travel has increased by 172 percent from the previous month. The tourists came mainly from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Some online travel agencies have reported a marked increase in cross-border tourism ticket bookings during the holidays.
Data from Trip.com Group showed that the number of one-way plane ticket orders over the New Year holiday soared 145% year-on-year.
Shoppers shop at a mall in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo by Liang Zhiqiang/Xinhua)
China recently announced that it will downgrade its management of the infectious disease of COVID-19 from class A to class B, effective January 8, 2023 – shifting the focus of the response from infection containment towards the management of infected patients and the prevention of cases.
As a result, domestic and foreign airlines will operate scheduled passenger flights under bilateral transport agreements – flight limits no longer apply. Closed management, nucleic acid testing and quarantine measures for incoming flight crew and associated airport staff will be removed. ■