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Frugality drive leads to plunge in year-end banquets
Last Updated: 2013-12-12 13:52 | CE.cn
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By Li Hongmei

China continues to crack down on government excess, stipulating that restaurants are no longer allowed to provide dishes featuring expensive delicacies such as shark fin, edible bird's nests, and rare wild animal products at official dinners, reports China Business News.

The central government has announced a set of "eight rules" to curb the common perception of the party and officials as living fat off the public purse, and several related regulations have been implemented at both central and local government levels. The regulations have effectively cut down on social events hosted by government agencies and state-run firms.

Market figures showed that the number of annual meetings and banquets held at high-end hotels dropped by 30%-70% this year, with some government agencies even opting to cancel their annual gatherings.

Zhang Yi, a salesperson at Xiao Nan Guo Restaurant Holdings, noted that since government consumption related to official receptions, transportation, and overseas trips was restricted last year, the restaurant's reservations from state companies decreased significantly.

"The situation became more evident this year," Zhang said, adding that reservations from government agencies and state-run firms accounted for 40% of the total reservations in previous years.

Zhang said that the reservations for year-end banquets reduced by 30% this year compared to a year ago, and most of their customers are now foreign companies and private businesses.

Orders placed for year-end parties at high-end hotels also plunged by 70% this year. An employee at the Jinjiang Inn Hotel in Shanghai said that no reservations from state firms and governments are expected this year, and reservations from foreign and private companies will decrease as well.

The government will now also request that government officials stay in regular or standard rooms while on official business trips, and the host organizations are not allowed to offer toiletries, flowers and fruit, or a sightseeing itinerary.

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