China lockdowns: Tourism spending plunges over key holiday
Tourism spending in China plunged during this week’s Qingming festival, as the world’s second largest economy battles a rise in infections.
The amount tourists spent during the key three-day holiday was more than 30% lower than the same time last year, official figures show.
It comes as travel restrictions in China continue, and Shanghai and other cities remain locked down.
Shanghai is the largest city to go into lockdown to date.
The Qingming festival, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, is usually a time when people visit the graves of family and friends to pay their respects.
This would often mean people travelling from their homes to other parts of China, which can provide a boost for consumer spending.
The festival took place from Sunday 3 April to Tuesday 5 April this year.
Local tourists spent 18.78bn yuan ($2.95bn; £2.26bn) over the three days, according to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. That was 30.9% lower than last year.
The ministry also said that there were 75.4m domestic trips during the festival, which was more than 26% lower than the same time last year.
Chinese authorities have extended the lockdown of Shanghai to cover the whole city after a fresh surge in Covid cases.
Shanghai reported 19,982 new infections for Wednesday, which was a new daily record. However, the numbers are not high by some international standards.
The important financial and manufacturing hub has battled a new wave of coronavirus infections for more than a month.
Major businesses, including German carmaker Volkswagen (VW), have scaled back their operations in Shanghai.
The motor industry giant partially closed its factory in the Chinese city last week, citing supply shortages.
Since then production has been suspended and the plant remains closed.
“Like before the Qingming holiday we will continue to monitor the situation day by day,” a VW spokesperson said.