China’s holidaymakers cut back on travels and tourism related spending during the Golden Week of October but spending on dining and alcoholic beverages are on the rise as Covid rules discourage mobility.
From October 1 to 7, the country’s overall tourism revenue declined 26% to RMB 287 billion (US$40.3 billion) over a year ago, as shown by data released by Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
With travel spending dwindling, holidaymakers are pouring more money into local dining and drinks consumption.
According to data released by Hema, the supermarket chain owned by Alibaba, alcoholic beverage sales in general saw 15% growth during the week-long holiday compared with the same period last year. The supermarket has about 300 stores across the country.
China’s domestically produced Baijiu, beer and wine led the drinks category’s growth with Shanghai and Beijing spending the most.
Notably, white wine sales grew by 38% and rice wine recorded 30% growth, while sake and soju jumped by over 40% over the same period last year.
For imported spirits, gin and rum sales soared by 125% and 89% respectively.
Dining out in cities that have been previously hit hard by lockdowns was the first choice for Chinese consumers. In Shanghai, for instance, where the city came out of nearly 3 months of lockdown, spending at restaurants and bars surged to nearly RMB 7 billion, up by 18% compared with last year’s Golden Week.
In Zhejiang and Henan provinces, consumer spending at restaurants also recorded increases during the week-long holiday. On the day of National Day, expenditure at restaurants in Henan province soared 328%, according to official figures.