BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- As restaurants resume indoor dining and shopping malls reopen following the implementation of China's optimized COVID response measures, cities across China have returned to their usual hustle and bustle.
"On New Year's Eve, customers started to queue at noon," said Sha Jingjing, the manager of a hotpot restaurant in Beijing's Chaoyang District. "We received over 1,000 indoor diners on that day, which gave us more confidence for our business."
Yang Xiulong, board chairman of the Beijing Yan Restaurant, a high-end restaurant chain with 30 branches in the Chinese capital, said he felt the same. "I thought it would take some time for the catering industry to recover. But, given the current situation, I believe this recovery process will definitely be accelerated," he said.
On Guijie, a street famous among spicy crawfish lovers and midnight snack seekers, many businesses have resumed around-the-clock operations.
Popular travel destinations like the resort city of Sanya or Zhangjiakou, where snow and ice sports flourish, welcomed an influx of tourists during the three-day New Year holiday, with many hotels fully booked. Staff at Pullman Resort Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province said that popular rooms were booked out a week before the holiday kicked off.
Economic vitality has also been demonstrated in packed shopping centers and department stores. A monitoring system developed by Baidu Maps shows that the congestion index of shopping malls in cities like Chongqing, Xi'an, Beijing and Shenzhen increased significantly on Jan. 1.
According to the Consumer Market Big Data Laboratory (Shanghai), Shanghai's total offline consumption hit 12.01 billion yuan (about 1.74 billion U.S. dollars) from Dec. 31, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023.
Businesses in many cities have issued consumption coupons to attract shoppers. In late December, Hohhot in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region issued vouchers worth a total of 38 million yuan, covering consumption in sectors such as retail, catering, home appliances, automobiles and e-commerce.
A local shopping outlet logged a significant rise in customer flows during the New Year holiday, welcoming over 30,000 people per day. "We held a lot of promotions, and the coupons issued by the government also helped boost our sales," said Yang Haiyan, manager of Hohhot Wangfujing Outlet.
Guo Hongtu, an official of the bureau of commerce of Hohhot, said that customer flows in the city's shopping malls, supermarkets and restaurants have returned to 70 percent of their normal levels. ■