China’s disappointing Golden Week holiday

Travel came in below official forecasts, showing that Chinese consumers aren’t ready to fully start spending again amid a stumbling economy

Oct 10, 2023

Data released by China’s culture and tourism ministry on Monday reported 826 million trips with a revenue of about $103 billion for the eight-day holiday period starting Sept. 29. The ministry said the figures represent a 4.1% increase in the number of trips and a 1.5% increase in tourism revenue compared to 2019.

Key takeaways

  • Officials had hoped to see a larger recovery this year. Before the holiday began, officials forecast just under 900 million trips generating revenue of about $107 billion;
  • International travel is recovering but is still below pre-pandemic levels. Outbound travel was at 85% of 2019 levels, according to data from China’s National Immigration Administration;
  • Travel to popular long-haul destinations like Switzerland, the UK, and France experienced the fastest growth compared to the earlier Labor Day holiday in May, according to data released by

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