As the Spring Festival approaches, people around China are planning their meals and the outfits they will wear to welcome the Lunar New Year. Consumption of various goods and services around the country is getting a boost.
Goods for the upcoming Spring Festival have been flying off the shelves in supermarkets and shopping malls across the country. Many have extended their business hours, and there is no shortage of customers even at mid-night.
One consumer said "I have been here for just half an hour, but I have already bought goods worth 6 to 7 hundred yuan which are now too heavy to carry!"
In Beijing, the sales volume during the 3-day break is expected to grow 16% compared to a year ago. Many business owners, who are still in the shadow of the economic downturn are especially looking forward to the holiday.
Meanwhile, in rural areas, markets selling goods relating to the festival are also popular. In one such market, residents are choosing goods for the Lunar New Year celebrations.
One rural resident said "I have bought some flour and other groceries, to prepare for a good festival."
Many people who wish to relax after a year of hard work are interested in visiting tourist destinations. Tour packages including hot springs and winter holiday packages are popular. Tourism agencies say people are still showing a strong inclination to travel. And they have confidence in the tourism market for 2009, both outbound and domestic.
(CCTV January 4, 2009)