Domestic travel in China increased year on year and surpassed pre-pandemic levels over the eight-day Golden Week vacation, according to official statistics, although growth slowed and fell short of government expectations.

Travelers in China made 826 million domestic journeys over the Mid-Autumn and National Day holidays, up 71.3% from a year earlier and 4.1% more than pre-pandemic 2019 levels, according to statistics from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

However, the increase in travel over the Golden Week holiday was slower than during the Labour Day holiday in May and the Dragon Boat Festival in June, suggesting that the service sector’s recovery has stalled, according to Goldman Sachs in a note to investors Monday.

According to the investment bank, the number of travelers over the Labour Day vacation and the Dragon Boat Festival was 19.1% and 12.8% more than in 2019.

Beijing’s stringent Covid restrictions, which were loosened late last year, had the greatest impact on the service industry.

The most recent figures also fell short of the government’s pre-holiday forecasts for increased traveler numbers and tourist income. The Culture and Tourism Ministry predicted 896 million visits, bringing in 782.5 billion yuan ($108.75 billion).

According to official figures, China’s domestic tourist business generated CNY753.4 billion over the eight-day vacation, more than doubling from the previous year and up 1.5% from the previous year.

China’s incoming and outgoing travels increased year on year over the vacation, returning to 85% of pre-pandemic levels but falling short of the prior government prediction, according to official statistics.

The average number of incoming and outward passenger travels per day throughout the eight-day vacation was 1.477 million, which was more than usual since the Mid-Autumn Festival coincided with the National Day break this year. According to the National Immigration Administration, the figure was 85.1% of the 2019 level, but roughly treble the 2022 average. The administration had previously predicted 1.58 million daily incoming and outgoing passenger movements throughout the break.

According to the country’s trade ministry, retail sales by the country’s leading retail and catering enterprises increased 9% year on year over the first seven days of the Golden Week vacation. According to Dengta App, a movie-data monitoring platform, the country’s movie box office income hit CNY2.7 billion, with a daily average greater than the 2022 level but much lower than the 2021 and 2019 levels.

While China’s service sector continues to improve, the country’s property sector seems to be failing, despite more government assistance. According to the state-run Securities Times, new-home purchases by floor area declined roughly 20% from a year ago and from 2019 levels over the eight-day break in 35 cities tracked by the China Index Academy.