While National Day Golden Week sales recorded an upswing in some malls in Hong Kong, sightseeing was a higher priority than shopping, says the National Tourism Administration.
China’s transport system had to cope with millions more travellers as the number of trips over the break rose 11.9 per cent compared with the holiday last year.
Holidaymakers made 705 million domestic trips over the eight-day break and spent RMB583.6 billion (US$87.6 billion), or 13.9 per cent more than last year, says the National Tourism Administration.
It notes that the number of outbound tourists was roughly the same as last year at about 6 million, but more travellers were opting to go it alone rather than join a tour group.
In Hong Kong, 12 shopping malls run by Sun Hung Kai Properties (China) recorded 10 per cent year-on-year growth in overall retail sales to HK$180 million during the holiday period.
Total foot traffic through the malls reached 9.3 million, up about 12 per cent from the corresponding period last year, says Sun Hung Kai executive director Maureen Fung Sau-yim.
The malls include APM in Kwun Tong, Tai Po Mega Mall, Sun Arcade in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yuen Long Plaza, New Jade Shopping Arcade in Chai Wan and Metropolis Plaza in Sheung Shui.
Fung says foot traffic at APM was up 15 per cent while retail sales rose 12 per cent. Specialty food plus general food and beverages, fashion accessories and cosmetics were among the most popular product categories.
Foot traffic at Tai Po Mega Mall was up 12 per cent and retail sales by 10 per cent.
Golden Week usually lasts seven days, but this year the break was extended to eight to cover the Mid-Autumn Festival.