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Local tourism spending rises during China's Golden Week despite lockdowns

People walk along Nanjing Pedestrian Road during the Labour Day holiday in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Spending on local tourism rose during China's Golden Week holiday that ends on Friday, according to data from China's largest online travel agency Ctrip, even as clusters of lockdowns continue across the country.

Per capita tourism spending in local areas increased by 30% on-year during the Golden Week holiday, according to a report Ctrip posted on an affiliated WeChat account, with short-distance, local trips comprising 65% of the tourism market.

New packages have emerged that cater to those who "don't want to travel far but still want to explore," said Fang Zeqian, a Ctrip analyst, according to the report.

It comes as China has faced ongoing movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Building lockdowns are springing up across Shanghai and Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province, was locked down in September.

Some companies have asked employees not to leave their city of residence during the Golden Week holidays, while many schools are forcing students that have travelled outside their city to stay away from school for a specific time period.

While local tourism fares are up, overall passenger numbers are down, according to report from the China state broadcaster CCTV on Friday.

Over the holiday, estimated passenger numbers on flights, railways, highways and waterways are expected to hit 256 million, an average of 36.5 million passengers per day, a daily average fall of 36.4% compared with the same period in 2021.

Last year, tourism revenues in China during the Golden Week holiday fell by almost 5% year-on-year, according to state media.

(Reporting by Engen Tham and Wang Jing; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Louise Heavens)