BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China''s accommodation and catering industry saw its retail sales rose 24.8 percent in the first three quarters over the same period last year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Monday.
The growth rate was 6.7 percentage points higher than the same period last year, said the MOC on its website.
Retail sales of the country''s accommodation and catering industry amounted to 1.11 trillion yuan (about 161.98 billion U.S. dollars) between January and September, accounting for 14.2 percent of the nation''s total domestic retail sales during the same period.
In the first three quarters, China''s retail sales of consumer goods rose 22 percent over the same period last year to 7.79 trillion yuan.
Foreign companies established 506 new hotels and restaurants in China during the January-September period, down 25.9 percent over the same period last year.
Actual use of foreign capital in accommodation and catering industry stood at 720 million U.S. dollars, down by 4.5 percent from the same period last year.
According to the MOC, demand has been greatly boosted by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the third quarter.
During the July to September period, accommodation and catering retail sales hit 384.81 billion yuan, up 26.3 percent. The growth rate was 7.5 percentage points higher than the same period last year.
The popularization of rural restaurants and increasing wedding feasts this year also contributed to a booming accommodation and catering industry, said the MOC.
The ministry expected the retail sales of this industry to hit 1.54 trillion yuan this year, up 24.6 percent year on year.
Editor: Mu Xuequan