BEIJING—Chinese people are traveling through the pandemic. Preliminary data for the Chinese New Year holiday show.
Nomura’s chief China economist Ting Lu said in a report on Thursday that pent-up demand was being released as more people flocked to scenic spots to watch fireworks and flock to restaurants and hotels. ‘ said.
China’s Covid “exit wave” is coming to an end quickly as official data shows a decline in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, he said. “China is rapidly reaching herd immunity for Covid as the government estimates that about 80% of the population has already been infected with Covid.”
Just as Covid infections spiked in the country in December, just as Beijing ended nearly three years of rigorous contact tracing and border controls. The seven-day Chinese New Year, which officially kicked off on Saturday, is the first major holiday since China’s Covid restrictions ended.
Domestically, B&B bookings have more than doubled from a year ago, and attraction ticket sales have more than quintupled. trip.com Data for the first four days of Chinese New Year.
Over the past four days, bookings for hotels and other tourist activities were above levels seen during the same period in 2019 before the pandemic, according to travel booking sites.
People from mainland China were also keen on traveling abroad.
Flight bookings for travel from the mainland to international destinations for the first four days of vacation 4 times more than a year ago, Bookings for related hotels have doubled, according to Trip.com.
It is not clear whether the surge in tourism means that Chinese consumption is recovering from the past three years of slump. Retail sales will decline by 0.2% in 2022.
According to the Ministry of Transport, since January 8, domestic travel during the Lunar New Year holiday has increased by about 50% compared to a year ago.
But even tens of millions of daily trips are still down sharply from 2019 levels, the ministry said.
“Data on shopping mall traffic, new home purchases and car sales suggest that consumption of big-ticket items may continue to be restrained,” said Nomura’s Lu.
“Passenger car retail sales growth slowed significantly from 3.0% in December from January 1 to 15 to -21.0% year-on-year, after the end of the seven-month 50% purchase tax cut.” said in the report.
Chinese households’ willingness to save hit a record high last year amid uncertain future income and a sluggish property market. The majority of household assets in China are real estate.
A survey conducted in December by Oliver Wyman found that among Chinese who plan to shop more in brick-and-mortar stores this year, supermarkets rank first, followed by convenience stores. Lower shopping mall.
However, feelings can change quickly.
According to the survey, in just one week in late December, survey respondents became quite accustomed to going on adventures.
“I think this is a very positive sign of resilience and how quickly consumer confidence will improve,” Imke Wouters, a partner at Oliver Wyman, said in a phone interview earlier this month. Sales are directly linked to consumer trust.”