China looks past Covid as tourist bookings surge for the Lunar New Year
- Travel vs. big-ticket spending
- Read more about China from CNBC Pro
BEIJING — People in China are moving past the pandemic and going out to travel, preliminary data for the Lunar New Year holiday show.
“Pent-up demand is being released as many people rush to scenic spots, watch firework shows and crowd into restaurants and hotels,” Nomura’s chief China economist Ting Lu said in a report Thursday.
China’s Covid “exit wave” is quickly ending as official data show a drop in infections, hospitalizations and deaths, he said. “China has been rapidly reaching its Covid herd immunity, as the government estimates about 80% of the population has already been infected with Covid.”
The country saw a surge in Covid infections in December, just as Beijing ended nearly three years of stringent contact tracing and border controls. The seven-day Lunar New Year, which officially began Saturday, is the first major holiday since the end of China’s Covid restrictions.
Within the country, reservations for stays at bed and breakfasts more than doubled from a year ago, while ticket sales for attractions grew by more than fivefold, according to Trip.com
The travel booking site claimed that for those four days, reservations for hotels and other tourist activities exceeded levels seen for the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.