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Economy

China kicks off National Day holidays as COVID saps consumption

Domestic travel demand remains below pre-pandemic levels as outbreaks pop up

Travelers gather at Shanghai Railway Station on Sept. 30, ahead of the seven-day National Day holiday period, one of China's crucial spending seasons. (Photo by Naoki Matsuda) 

SHANGHAI -- China's National Day vacation period started on Friday amid a growing inclination to avoid travel between provinces or cities and to stay away from new coronavirus outbreaks that have cropped up. As a result, the celebratory period is likely to have a subdued effect on consumption.

According to one estimate, the number of domestic National Day travelers will exceed 600 million, about 20% fewer than in 2019, before the pandemic began.

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