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China witnesses robust culture, tourism consumption

(Xinhua)    15:03, February 22, 2020

SHANGHAI, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Nighttime activities and cultural tours boomed in China in 2019 and drove the development of China's culture and travel consumption, according to a series of reports released Thursday.

China Tourism Academy (CTA) under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism estimated that Chinese people have made over 6 billion domestic trips in 2019, contributing 5.73 trillion yuan (816 million U.S. dollars) to the tourism revenue, up 8.4 percent and 11.7 percent compared with the previous year respectively.

He Qiongfeng, an expert with the CTA, said that the satisfaction index for tourism among Chinese travelers gained 3.04 percent year-on-year to 80.28 in 2019, hitting a 10-year high.

Another research held by CTA and China UnionPay Merchant Services Co., Ltd. (China UMS) showed that Chinese have spent 18.8 percent of their expenditures on traveling, indicating that travel has become an inseparable part of people's lives.

Though first and second-tier cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Nanjing and Shenzhen still witnessed the most active travelers in 2019, the spending gap between eastern and western cities was narrowed, with more people from third- and fourth-tier cities traveling last year, according to Wang Tianqing with China UMS.

According to CTA, over 80 percent of travelers have attended cultural activities and visited museums in the past year.

Data from China UMS also showed that the number of consumers to cultural venues such as museums and historic scenic spots in 2019 increased by more than 30 percent year on year, and their total consumption was up over 25 percent.

Red tourism attractions, such as sites with revolutionary history, welcomed 31.1 percent more visitors in 2019 than the previous year and the consumption volume increased 25.6 percent, according to China UMS.

Cultural and tourism consumption at night witnessed strong growth in 2019, too. According to China UMS, the total amount of tourism spending at night accounted for 28.6 percent of the total tourist spending.

Zhang Jiayi, an expert with CTA said that more cultural venues and tourist attractions extended opening hours and engaged in more nighttime activities in 2019 to cater to people's needs.

For 2020, Chinese travelers and businesses have expressed confidence in the development of the country's tourism industry, although it is experiencing a hard time as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Another recent survey by CTA showed 71.5 percent of the respondents would travel after the outbreak ends or wait a bit until the situation stabilizes, while 20.7 percent would go traveling as soon as possible after the epidemic.

"China's tourism economy will show strong resilience against the epidemic," said Dai Bin, president of CTA.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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