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Travel & Leisure

China kicks off Lunar New Year as COVID explosion fears loom

Year of the Rabbit spending fuels hopes for rebound in world's No. 2 economy

A customer admires Lunar New Year decorations at a market in Beijing. Holiday spending may help kick-start growth in the world's No. 2 economy.   © Reuters

SUZHOU, China -- The Lunar New Year holiday kicks off in China this weekend, with hopes running high that it will kick-start economic growth stuck at four-decade lows, but fears of a COVID-19 explosion loom over the festivities.

Many people are focused on reuniting with relatives they have not seen in years, rather than spending big at tourist hot spots, after Beijing last month reversed course on a zero-COVID policy that kept most of the population close to home during the pandemic.

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