Chinese Valentine's Day, falling on the 7th day of the seventh month on lunar Chinese calendar, on Wednesday this year, has become an annual money-spinner for the hospitality and tourism sector in the country, based on data from China's major online travel websites. The figures show that singles also help drive the festival consumption.
The festival, "Qixi" in Chinese, was not a big day for shopping in the past, but couples as well as singles now splurge during this time of the year.
The freedom of being single
According to Ctrip, the proportion of single people who decide to travel during the festival increased by 48 percent from a year earlier, while the average travel consumption on Chinese Valentine's Day for a single person is 1,422 yuan, only half of the couples' average spending.
Travel orders for women in 2019 rose by 40 percent from a year earlier, with favorite outbound destinations including Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Maldives.
Also, cosmetics sales this year increased by 186.7 percent compared with 152.4 percent last year. Sales for gold jewelry saw a 122-percent growth in 2019, in which female consumers accounted for 78 percent.
A report by Sinolink Securities earlier this year reveals that there are more than 200 million single people in China characterized by high consumption and low savings.
Sweet celebrating for couples
Based on the report jointly released by Ctrip and Suning, flower bookings over the period linked with traditional Chinese romantic festival surpassed those on Western Valentine's Day and May 20, which sounds like the phrase "I love you" in Mandarin Chinese , this year.
Compared to the 347.70-percent year-on-year growth last year, chocolate sales surged even higher, by 512.66 percent year on year over the holiday, with those who are Virgo, Pisces or Leo preferring to send chocolate to their lovers.
Two coastal cities, Xiamen and Qingdao, are the most popular domestic destinations for couples during the festival, followed by Lijiang, Dali, Harbin, Hangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Xi'an and Chongqing, said Ctrip.
The post-1990s generation became the driving force with 35 percent of all traveling couples this year, trailed by those born in the 19200s with 29 percent. Those in their teens also took up seven percent, Ctrip's data revealed.
According to Qunar, around 46 percent of hotel reservations came from those aged 22-34, with consumers within the age groups of 35-45 and 45-55 accounting for 28 and 12 percent respectively. However, couples older than 55 years old also value the festival as they made up eight percent of love hotel orders this year.
The heatwave had people stay at home with air-conditioners on or creeping into the cinema over the festival this year. According to Suning, blanket sales over the festival soared by 474 percent from a year earlier and hot pot flavoring increased by 183 percent.
On Chinese Valentine's Day, the most popular films in Suning Cinema are "Ne Zha," an animated film, "The Bravest," a Chinese feature film, and "Looking Up," a Chinese family drama, with tickets specially for couples accounting for 76 percent.