The dragon's fortune
Editorial  ·  2024-02-26  ·   Source: NO.9 FEBRUARY 29, 2024

As the most important annual celebration in Chinese culture, the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year holiday, from February 10 to 17 this year, brings much more than just family reunions and traditions. It provides a significant annual boost to China's economy.

Thanks to increased consumer spending, many industries, from transportation and retail to entertainment and services, saw a significant uptick in revenue during the holiday period. At its core, the holiday is about strengthening relationships—whether with immediate family or distant relatives and community members. Many Chinese living in other cities returned to their hometowns to be with family, resulting in high demand for air, train and bus tickets. Domestic tourism spiked as people visited cultural or seasonal hotspots.

At the same time, from medical professionals who continued to care for patients during the holidays, to transportation workers who kept roads and rails open, up and running, to utility workers and emergency responders, all these dedicated individuals sacrificed time with loved ones for the benefit of their communities.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said that during this year's Spring Festival holiday, 474 million domestic trips were made, up 34.3 percent from the holiday period last year. Domestic tourists spent a whopping 632.69 billion yuan ($88.99 billion), up 47.3 percent.

According to statistics from the China Film Administration, the holiday's box office revenue reached 8.02 billion yuan ($1.13 billion), with a total of 163 million tickets sold. Compared to the box office revenue and attendance during the 2023 Spring Festival vacation, these numbers indicate an increase of 18.47 percent and 26.36 percent, respectively, marking an all-time holiday high.

A significant number of Chinese travelers opted to spend the Chinese New Year abroad, making the most of the extended break by visiting international destinations. The surge in outbound tourism from China has not only boosted the overseas travel market, but also served as a tangible manifestation of China's rapid economic recovery.

Holiday spending offers a crucial glimpse into the direction of the Chinese economy, and the Chinese New Year is one of the most important periods of the year for consumer activity. The consumer market during this Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon has soared to new heights, exemplifying a sustained recovery and reflecting the momentum of China's economic upturn. 

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