Dragon Boat Festival boosts tourism, online consumption

New holiday designed to boost spirits after coronavirus deemed a success as hotels, attractions and e-commerce log increased sales  

Dragon Boat Festival boosts tourism, online consumption
A dragon boat team reacts before taking part in practice runs in Hong Kong, during the annual Tuen Ng festival which has been postponed amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP

(ATF) A hastily created national holiday in China provided a boost to the nation’s coronavirus-hit tourism industry and stoked consumer spending online. 

The three-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday, which ended on Saturday, was hailed as a success by planners who said it was a fresh sign of post-epidemic recovery, the Economic Information Daily newspaper reported on Monday.

Ticket purchases for tourist sites quadrupled and hotel bookings doubled from the three-day Tomb-sweeping Day holiday in April, the newspaper reported, citing data from Mafengwo.com, a popular online travel website.

Nevertheless, Trip.com Group said that domestic tour-related searches and demand for flight ticket bookings during the holiday period were about 70% of the volume in the period last year, according to the newspaper.

Local destinations are reopening and gaining foot traffic, with central China's Henan Province receiving 5.75 million visitors, 61% of last year’s total. Major tourist attractions in southwestern Sichuan Province posted ticket sales revenue amounting to 60% of last year’s.

Another highlight of holiday consumption was online sales; the number of postal packages delivered climbed 48% year-on-year, reflecting a growing demand for goods amid the resumption of operations at offices and factories.

E-commerce platforms like JD.com and Pinduoduo continued to tap the vast rural consumer market, logging 150% growth in bulk fruit, beef and lamb sales. New markets in small cities and rural areas accounted for 70% of holiday orders.

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