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Nighttime economy on cusp of big growth

By CHEN BOWEN in Haikou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-10-20 07:13
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Diners enjoy food at a restaurant in the ancient city of Lijiang, Yunnan province on April 9, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

China's nighttime economy is on track for faster development, experts said at a recent tourism forum.

This is based on the market performance and trends observed during spring and summer this year, said Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy (CTA), at the 2023 China Nighttime Economic Forum in Sanya, Hainan province, last week.

"With the development of urbanization and consumption, consumer behavior has undergone changes, and the need for cultural experiences, consumption and services at night has grown stronger," Dai said.

Currently, the nighttime economy links with almost all walks of life, especially the consumer goods and services industry.

Nighttime consumption is gaining a bigger foothold of the total, and the period between 6 pm and 10 pm is now deemed by many as the golden hours of the nighttime economy, he added.

Related consumption scenarios have also expanded, with nighttime entertainment consumption seen rising, Dai said.

"In addition to traditional consumption venues like dining and shopping, there are new entertainment activities, such as performing arts, scripted shows, light shows, music festivals and live house performances. The nation has designated 243 venues dedicated to nighttime consumption," he said.

According to the CTA, the development of the nighttime economy in key towns and tourist villages, such as Hongcun in Anhui province and Nianhua Bay in Jiangsu province, has helped bridge the differences between cities and towns, and more consumers, especially in small towns, have a better consumption experience at their doorstep.

Since the nation optimized its COVID-19 response measures in December, China's tourism sector has been on a recovery track, and it is imperative for the nation to find new driving forces and explore new tourist attractions to boost its momentum, experts said.

"Sanya, as one of the most well-known coastal tourism cities in China, sees most of its seaside tourism products available only during the daytime. Efforts extending the consumption scenarios will support its ambitions of building itself into a major international tourism consumption destination," Dai said. "Sanya, if it succeeds in this direction, will be a sample case for coastal cities across China."

Dai also said that amid the construction of a free trade port, more international tourists will arrive in Hainan in the future.

Albert Yip, director-general of the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board under the municipal government, said: "The forum is a representative, influential and professional forum, which can provide guidance for the future development of Sanya's nighttime economy.

"Sanya will explore the development of nighttime economic formats and offer tourists and local residents new nighttime entertainment."

Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong is looking to expand business on the water in Sanya, said Allan Zeman, chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group.

He said that by holding conventions and sporting events, and developing its film industry, Sanya will have new attractions that will draw in more tourists.

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