China’s service sector makes best of New Year as COVID curbs eased

BEIJING: China’s catering, entertainment and tourism sectors made robust recovery over the three-day New Year holiday after the optimization of the country’s COVID-19 policy.
“The business is now back to 70 percent of pre-epidemic levels,” said a businesswoman surnamed Liang, who is in charge of a restaurant in Beijing. Liang said that her restaurant received a large number of customers on the first day of Beijing resuming dine-in services.
During the holiday, from December 31 to January 2, more than 100 eateries on Guijie, a famous food street in Beijing, witnessed long queues, and some eateries even resumed 24-hour operation. In south China’s Guangzhou City, a frontrunner in adjusting COVID-19 measures, hot-pot chain Haidilao witnessed long queues of customers on December 31. Along with the recovering catering services, the business district on Tianhe Road in Guangzhou attracted more than 1 million visits on the day.
As offline consumption recovers, online consumption also continues to boom.
Data from Meituan, a Chinese e-commerce platform providing life services, showed that in the first two days of the holiday, the online transaction volume of dine-in services in China more than doubled in comparison to the week before, among which, the transaction volume in east China’s Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces increased by more than 230 percent.
Data from multiple travel agencies show that travelers favored trips to other provinces and regions during the three-day holiday.
Travel portal Group said that nearly 60 percent of its customers purchased cross-provincial tours during the holiday, up from 40 percent in 2022.
Flight AI, the group’s database, said the nation’s largest 10 airports, including Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport, saw their passenger traffic rise by 20 percent year on year during the holiday.
–The Daily Mail-CGTN news exchange item