Hundreds of millions of Chinese people traveled within China for Golden Week holiday

HONG KONG (AP) — Some 637 million Chinese traveled inside their country during the recent eight-day Golden Week holiday, spending tens of billions of dollars at a time when China hopes to get consumers to spend more and perk up the economy.

More than 45% of China’s 1.4 billion people traveled during the holiday, which began Oct. 1. They spent 466.6 billion yuan ($69.5 billion), according to data from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

That’s 21% fewer trips and 30% less spending, but the numbers still show consumption is beginning to bounce back following the battering it took earlier in the year from the coronavirus pandemic.

The numbers are a “positive sign” both for China and the rest of the world that economies can revive pretty quickly once the coronavirus is under control, said Shivaji Das, managing director of research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan in Asia Pacific.

Fewer people traveled and those who did spent less out of caution over the pandemic, which has waned in China but not elsewhere.

“Manty people have lost income or were without jobs during the worst times of the pandemic so people are trying to be more careful from a financial perspective,” he said.

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