Date
25 May 2017
Train passengers make their way through the Suzhou rail station in JIangsu. More than 750 million trips were taken in the seven-day 'golden week' holiday. Photo: Xinhua
Train passengers make their way through the Suzhou rail station in JIangsu. More than 750 million trips were taken in the seven-day 'golden week' holiday. Photo: Xinhua

‘Golden week’ splurge shows China’s consumption prowess

China’s restaurant, cinema and travel sales soared during the “golden week” national holiday, showing robust household spending continues to prop a slowing economy.

The Oct. 1-7 holiday to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 came after turmoil China’s financial markets rattled global confidence in the world’s second biggest economy. 

More than 750 million trips were taken in the seven days, Bloomberg reports, citing state news agency Xinhua.

About 639 million of the trips were on the road, according to the Ministry of Transport.

In Beijing, which received 11.5 million tourists during the week, more than 400 portable toilets were installed in Tiananmen Square.

In Xiamen city on the southeast coast, boat tickets for a ride to a nearby island that usually cost 8 yuan (US$1.30) and as much as 250 yuan on the black market after selling out.

More than four million tourists traveled abroad during the period, with Japan, South Korea and Thailand being the top three destinations.

Sales at restaurants and retailers were to 1.08 trillion yuan — equivalent to Kuwait’s total economic output in the whole of 2014 — during the seven days, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

That was an 11 percent jump from a year earlier.

About 70,000 couples in Jiangsu province got married during the week, a favorite time to tie the knot in China because family and friends are off work and can travel to ceremonies.

And 2 billion yuan was spent on the banquets.

In neighboring Shandong province, newlyweds snapped up televisions and fridges for their new apartments, with major home appliance retailers registering a 53 percent sales surge from 2014, according to the commerce ministry.

The week’s box office take topped 1.85 billion yuan, a 70 percent jump from a year earlier.

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