Tourist travel and tourism revenue fell year-on-year during the three-day Chinese Dragon Boat Festival holiday, which ended yesterday (June 5), according to figures from the Xinhua News Agency.
The drop will underscore concerns about China’s economic growth prospects as it tries to recover this year from disruptions related to the country’s zero-Covid lockdowns in Shanghai and other major cities, which have lasted up to two months. (See the related post here.)
China had a total of 79.6 million domestic tourist trips during this year’s Dragon Boat Festival, according to forecasts by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, state-run Xinhua said Sunday.
Xinhua did not provide a year-on-year comparison on Sunday, but the news agency reported in June 2021 that tourist trips during the Dragon Boat Festival totaled “more than 89 million” last year, down about 10% this year.
Domestic tourism revenue during the holiday this year totaled 25.8 billion yuan, or about 3.8 billion U.S. dollars, about 12% less than the 29.4 billion yuan Xinhua reported as total spending for 2021.
US-traded shares of major Shanghai-based travel companies fell on Friday. Trip.com, China’s largest online travel company, fell 1.8% to $21.73; Huazhu, the hotel chain chaired by billionaire Ji Qi, fell 1.2% to $21.08; GreenTree Hospitality Group, a smaller hotel chain, fell 0.8% to $3.84 and China Eastern, the major state-owned airline, fell 0.9% to $17.51.
Stock trading on the Hong Kong and mainland China stock exchanges was closed on Friday for the Dragon Boat Festival and will reopen today.
There are many competing explanations for Duanwu Jie, the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar,” Smithsonian Magazine wrote in 2009. “All involve a combination of dragons, spirits, loyalty and honor, and food – some of the most important traditions of Chinese culture. The main elements of the festival, now popular around the world, are racing on long, narrow wooden boats decorated with dragons and eating glutinous rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaves, called zongzi in Mandarin and jung in Cantonese.”
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