“Stay-put” Spring Festival sparks consumption boom

China’s catering sector saw about 821 billion yuan (about $127 billion) in the combined sales of key retail and catering enterprises during the weeklong Spring Festival holiday that lasted from Feb. 11 to 17, marking a year-on-year growth of 28.7 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the country’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC).

On the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve, as more Chinese have stayed put ,the number of online orders for food delivery services surged by 70 percent year on year, while popular catering brands witnessed an 82-percent sharp rise in sales of takeout food, as shown by data from Meituan Dianping.

The “stay-put” Spring Festival also led to a rise in short trips. From Feb. 12 to 15, although the number of travelers increased by 162 percent year on year, the per capita navigation mileage decreased by 30 percent, according to Gaode Map. The number of visits in parks, tourist attractions, museums, theaters, and ski resorts across the country significantly climbed. Statistics indicate that the accommodation consumption in the Beijing’s suburban districts of Yanqing, Miyun and Huairou more than tripled during the Spring Festival, and that in Shanghai’s Chongming, Qingpu and Jiading also surged more than 200 percent.

Multiple Chinese films came out during the holiday and ignited theaters. During the Spring Festival, the box office of Chinese films reached 7.82 billion yuan (about $1.2 billion), while the number of film-goers totaled 160 million, creating a historical high.The total box office crossed the 10-billion-yuan mark just in the first one and a half months this year, close to half of the whole-year figure in 2020.

The Chinese courier sector delivered 660 million parcels during the Spring Festival holiday, up 260 percent over the same period last year, data from the State Post Bureau showed.

China’s online sales exceeded 122 billion yuan (about $18.9 billion) during the holiday. The collection volume was close to three times that of the same period last year, and the delivery volume was three to four times greater.

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