As the world’s second largest economy battles an outbreak of diseases, tourism spending in China plummeted over this week’s Qingming festival.
Official numbers reveal that tourists spent more than 30% less during the major three-day holiday than they did at the same period last year.
It comes as China’s travel restrictions remain in place, with Shanghai and other cities being shut down.
To date, Shanghai has become the largest metropolis to be placed under lockdown.
The Qingming holiday, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, is a time when people pay their respects to the graves of family and friends.
This typically entails people travelling from their homes to different parts of China, which might enhance consumer spending.
This year’s festival took place from Sunday, April 3 to Tuesday, April 5.
According to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, local tourists spent 18.78 billion yuan ($2.95 billion) over three days. This was a 30.9 per cent decrease from the previous year.
The ministry also stated that 75.4 million domestic journeys were made throughout the festival, a decrease of more than 26 per cent over the same period last year.
Following a new wave of Covid cases, Chinese authorities have expanded the lockdown of Shanghai to include the entire city.
On Wednesday, Shanghai reported 19,982 new infections, a new daily high. However, by certain international standards, the figures are low.
For more than a year, the vital financial and manufacturing centre has been fighting a new wave of coronavirus infections.
Major corporations, like Volkswagen (VW) of Germany, have reduced their presence in Shanghai.
Last week, the automaker partially shut down its production in the Chinese city, citing supply problems.
Production has been halted since then, and the plant has remained closed.
“Like before the Qingming holiday we will continue to monitor the situation day by day,” a VW spokesperson said.
(Adapted from BBC.com)