China’s Mid-Autumn Festival tourism hit by COVID restrictions

People walk in a garden with decorated lanterns and light ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival at Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong, China September 8, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

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BEIJING, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The number of trips made during China’s three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday has fallen, with tourism revenue also falling, official data shows, as strict COVID-19 rules 19 discouraged people from travelling.

The number of trips made by tourists fell 16.7 percent from a year earlier to 73.4 million trips during the holidays, which ended on Monday, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Tourism revenue fell 22.8% to 28.68 billion yuan ($4.14 billion), the data showed.

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China has fought to contain the highly transmissible variant of Omicron, imposing varying degrees of lockdowns to stop its spread this year and stepping up restrictions and restrictions where necessary.

In the Chinese capital Beijing, people returning to work on Tuesday had to show negative test results within 48 hours, up from 72 hours previously.

Authorities at large have also urged people to refrain from non-essential travel ahead of a week-long National Day holiday next month and a Communist Party congress in mid-October.

“We believe travel for family reunions, tourism and retail sales will be severely impacted in the coming months, including the National Day Golden Week holidays from October 1-7,” the company said. Japanese brokerage and investment bank Nomura.

“Deteriorating tourism data could lead to further cuts in GDP growth forecasts hitting the streets,” Nomura wrote in a note Tuesday.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, a holiday that usually involves family gatherings, trips by road fell 37% to 48.18 million and those by boat fell 15% to 1.54 million, reported Monday on state television.

According to the CCTV report, people made 1.28 million air trips in China, nearly 60 percent lower than the corresponding vacation last year.

($1 = 6.9229 Chinese Yuan)

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Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo in Beijing and Aizhu Chen in Singapore; Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Jacqueine Wong

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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