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Holidays at home for record number of Chinese as economic slowdown bites

SHANGHAI, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A record number of Chinese are choosing to travel at home this Golden Week holiday, potentially boosting domestic consumption but disappointing travel agents who have been waiting for big-spending tourists to go back abroad since the pandemic ended.
China celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day from Friday to Oct. 6 in the longest public holiday this year.
The break traditionally sees an overseas exodus of middle-class Chinese as well as bumper domestic travel, with millions of people, mostly labourers and factory workers, returning to their home villages.
But as the economy struggles to recover after the pandemic, previous holidays this year have disappointed in terms of spending per person, as a weak job market and low incomes hurt consumer spending.
More Chinese are still reluctant to spend on nice-to-haves such as overseas holidays, but how much they do spend domestically during this holiday will be a key gauge of consumer appetite, a crucial component for the long-term growth potential of the world’s second-largest economy.



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