[photopress:chengyuan_hotel_restaurant.jpg,full,alignright]Figures published by the Ministry of Commerce showed that retail sales from the hotel and catering sector accounted for 14.1% of China’s total retail sales of consumer goods during the first quarter of this year. This sector rose 17.4% year on year to hit RMB298.36 billion ($37.3 billion) in the first three months of 2007.
But investment seems to be a bit down. Statistics showed the number of newly approved foreign-funded hotels and catering projects dropped 22.3% year-on-year to 171, with contracted foreign investments totaling $380 million, down 28.1%. Actualized foreign investment increased 5.4 percent to $190 million.
The ministry forecast that the retail sales of China’s catering sector would hit RMB1.21 trillion this year.