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Record hotel spending
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Consumer spending on China's hotel and catering industry hit record highs last month, as the hotel industry develops, and food prices rise.


Domestic hotels and restaurants generated record sales of 110 billion yuan (US$14.9 billion) for November, an increase of 21.6 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said on its Website yesterday.


The growth is 3.9 percent higher than the same period last year, and 0.2 percent higher than in October.


Spending on hotels and restaurants for the first 11 months rose by 18.9 percent to 1.11 trillion yuan, accounting for 13.9 percent of total retail sales during the period.


Analysts say part of this can be attributed to the rise in food prices since the beginning of this year.


In November, China's consumer prices, a main gauge of inflation, jumped 6.9 percent from a year earlier, close to 11-year record of seven percent set in December 1996.


Sales revenue was recorded at 134.7 billion yuan.


About 862 foreign-funded hotels and restaurants were established in China between January and November this year.


Shen Zhouxiang, an analyst from CITIC Securities, said the hotel industry is expected to pick up further in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


The industry earned one-billion-yuan profit in 2005 after losing money for seven years, according to a report from CITIC Securities.


(Shanghai Daily December 26, 2007)


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