During Spring Festival, the proportion of small-town yo

ouths who traveled rose by 101 percent year-on-year, compared with 50 per

cent among peers in bigger cities, according to major online travel agency Ctrip.

Ruan Tianying, deputy general manager of Western-style food chain Houcaller, said t

hat with fastgrowing urbanization in China, lower-tier cities definitely offer great potential.

Houcaller, founded in Xiamen, Fujian province, in 1993, plans to operate about 400 store

s in 100 Chinese cities, with more than two-thirds of them located in lower-tier centers by the end of this year.

Ruan said consumption per capita at Houcaller outlets is about

60 yuan, and about 80 percent of its more than 30 million customers a year are age 36 or younger.

“Opening a restaurant involves different factors, so we cannot reach lower-tier cities as quick

ly as fast-moving consumer goods do,” he said, adding that in these cities, the market still needs to be educa

ted about eating Western-style food, which involves a different dining etiquette from Chinese food.

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