Chinese cut back on travel over the Golden Week holiday

The number of mainland residents travelling abroad in the first six days of October fell 15.1 per cent compared to a year ago, the State Immigration Administration said.
The number of mainland residents travelling abroad in the first six days of October fell 15.1 per cent compared to a year ago, the State Immigration Administration said.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Chinese cut back on overseas travel, and the growth in the number of domestic trips also slowed, during the week-long holiday that ended on Monday (Oct 7), as protests in Hong Kong and a weaker currency and economy discouraged people from travelling out of China.

The number of mainland residents travelling abroad in the first six days of October fell 15.1 per cent compared to a year ago, the State Immigration Administration said.

The number of domestic trips grew 7.8 per cent this year, but that was slower than the 9.4 per cent growth pace during last year's holiday week, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said.

Hong Kong, a favourite vacation destination for Chinese, has seen a slump in visitors from the mainland, hurting receipts at hotels and shops and helping push the island's economy towards possible recession. The number of mainland citizens entering Hong Kong from Shenzhen's Luohu port was down almost 48 per cent compared to last year's holiday, the immigration administration said.

The pullback continues the trend of slumping visitor numbers affecting tourist destinations across the region and is another sign of how weak consumer demand is undercutting efforts by China's government to rebalance and stimulate the economy.