June 25, 2022

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China’s holiday tourism revenue 39.2% of pre-pandemic level

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Shanghai and other parts of China remained in lockdown or subject to travel restrictions during a long holiday weekend in early April, sending an official count of tourism revenue plunging to just over a third of what it was prior to the pandemic.

Hector Retamal | Afp | Getty Images

BEIJING — As mainland China tackles its worst Covid-19 outbreak in two years, a measure of consumer spending has dropped to levels not seen since the initial shock of the pandemic.

Travel restrictions and lockdowns of districts or cities discouraged people from traveling over a holiday that officially ran from Sunday to Tuesday.

And tourism spending by those who did venture out only recovered just over a third, or 39.2%, of the level seen during the holiday in 2019, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

That’s a far slower pace than during the Lunar New Year holiday earlier in the year, when tourism spending was 56.3% of what it was in 2019.

For more than three weeks, mainland China’s count of Covid cases with symptoms has topped 1,000 a day and touched regions across the country. The number of asymptomatic cases is far higher.

Shanghai, the country’s largest city, is one of the hardest hit in China’s wave of the highly transmissible omicron variant. The metropolis was supposed to end a two-part lockdown Tuesday, but earlier this week gave no indication of when restrictions would lift.

Markets could underestimate the economic damage [from Covid].

Ting Lu

chief China economist, Nomura

In all, about 193 million people in the country are living in full or partial lockdowns, in regions that account for about 22% of China’s GDP, Nomura’s chief China economist Ting Lu estimated in a report Tuesday.

“Markets could underestimate the economic damage,” he said. “China’s [zero-Covid strategy] may save many lives, especially among the elderly, but it also incurs a substantial economic cost and causes collateral damage to people who are unable to obtain normal medical treatment for illnesses…

2022-04-06 01:48:00

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