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China posts tourism and spending jump over Lunar New Year

Holiday travel spending soars 30% after Beijing dismantles zero-COVID curbs

Crowds in Shanghai on the first day of the Lunar New Year. China's economy is forecast to rebound after Beijing dropped its zero-COVID policy.   © Reuters

FUZHOU, China -- China's Lunar New Year holiday saw a big travel and spending jump as authorities played down fears of a massive COVID-19 outbreak during what has traditionally been the world's biggest annual migration.

Movie box office records were smashed and tourist attractions drew huge crowds as spending for the weeklong holiday, which began on Saturday, jumped 30% to 375.8 billion yuan ($56 billion), while domestic trips rose 23% to 308 million, according to data published Friday by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The numbers were still below 2019's pre-pandemic levels.

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