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Chongqing City's Consumption Up 8.3% during the Golden Week Holiday

By TRUMAN PENGICHONGQING|Oct 10,2020

As perhaps the most popular tourist city in China, Chongqing reported a retail sales increase of 8.3% year on year in its major commercial districts and key trading enterprises during the eight-day Golden Week holiday, which is a clear reflection of the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A view of the famous snack street on Bayi Road. (Chongqing Release/Zhong Zhibin)

Pro-Consumption Campaigns

During the overlapping Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, the city’s six major commercial districts saw a combined 10.4% year-on-year increase in retail sales turnover, with the Guanyinqiao commercial district grew by 30.6%, Jiulongpo commercial district 16.4%, and Jiefangbei commercial district 9.4%, according to statistics from the Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce.

Jiefangbei Central Business District

Jiefangbei Central Business District

These growths can be attributed to the various pro-consumption campaigns and sales promotion activities held during the period. For instance, Yangjiaping hosted two cultural brand events with five themed mass performance shows; Nanbin Road hosted a drama festival and a Mid-Autumn fair festival; Yuzhong district also hosted a series of consumption activities in its Jiefangbei and Daping commercial districts.

What’s more, the city’s key monitored trade enterprises also saw a combined 8.5% increase in retail sales in the same period, with consumer electronics retailer Suning growing by 21%, and Far Eastern Department Store 11%.

E-Commerce and Mobile Payment

The city’s online and offline sales were further integrated during the Golden Week holiday to boost sales, with major trade and distribution enterprises launching online booking and ordering services via platforms such as Taobao, Alipay, and WeChat.

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A Momtime O2O chain store that allows customers to purchase items online and pick them up on-site.

The Suning Guanyinqiao Smart Plaza officially opened to the public on Sept. 30, allowing visitors to browse through its product list and make orders via online tools such as live streaming platforms and WeChat applets. The JD.com Super Experience Store in Jiangbei’s Cuntan organized a National Day Promotion Carnival, taunting the lowest prices for all its for-sale items in the city. Many of the city’s supermarkets, department stores, and convenience stores such as Yonghui, NCDS, Freshippo, Shin Kong Place, and Seven-Eleven have all joined promotion efforts to encourage online ordering cashless payment.

Consumer electronics retailer GOME saw its National Day holiday sales turnover in the city reaching 108.8 million yuan (about USD 12.65 million), up 9.9% year on year.

Booming Catering Industry

As one of the most affected industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s catering business didn’t see an opportunity to bounce back until the loosening of epidemic control measures in late May. The eight-day Golden Week holiday became a perfect time for restaurants to reopen their dinner party and banquet services for family reunion and wedding ceremonies.

Epidemic prevention and control measures are taken to promote the orderly resumption of business in the catering industry.

Local catering enterprise Shunfeng 123 achieved total revenue of 1.92 million yuan during the holiday, a 5.1% increase year on year. Other popular local restaurants such as Zhouzi Hotpot and Niuzhenxiang also recorded 16.7% and 13.3% growth, respectively.

Dongyuan 1891 joined hands with “Douyin Food Era” and held a super-hotpot party themed “a pair of chopsticks heat up the world,” attracting tens of thousands of residents and tourists to have a taste.

Unleashed Culture and Tourism Demands

As a viral city on the internet, Chongqing attracts tens of millions of tourists from domestic and abroad to its multi-dimensional landscape, cyberpunk modern architectures, hot and spicy local cuisines, and many other unique features distinctively Chongqing.

Night view of the Hongya Cave in Chongqing’s Yuzhong District.

The Hongya Cave, famous for its verisimilitude to the buildings in Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 animated film Spirited Away, was among the city’s most visited places. It became even more popular after surviving the massive flood in August and required registration and preservation beforehand during the Golden Week holiday.

The other viral tourist spots, such as the Nanshan Yikeshu Observation Deck, Ciqikou, Jiefangbei, Liziba Metro Station, and the Yangtze River Cableway, saw their numbers of visiting tourists reaching pre-pandemic levels.

Such dynamism and vigor were also seen outside the main urban area and deep in the city’s surrounding counties and districts.

Various culture and tourism activities such as the second edition of the Jinfo Mountain Chinese Urban Fashion Culture Festival in Nanshan district, the 2020 China Miao Ethnic Culture International Tourism Festival in Pengshui county, and the first edition of the Motor Vehicle Music Culture Festival & 7th Annual Meeting of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle (Chongqing) in Wulong District brought in waves of tourists.

During the holiday, rural tourism revenue saw a combined increase of 14.6% year on year, with Tongnan, Jiangjin, and Qianjiang districts’ growth rate being 20.3%, 21.4%, and 26.1%.

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