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Destination countries launch promotional campaigns to attract National Day travelers

(People's Daily Online)    13:40, September 30, 2016

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As China's National Day holiday (Oct. 1-7) draws near, popular tourist destination countries have been preparing for an influx of Chinese tourists and the resultant capital such travel brings. In order to attract as many Chinese tourists as possible, many countries have entered into a fierce competition, complete with diverse promotions.

A report by Korea Central Daily News on Sept. 29 said the China Tourism Academy predicted that about 589 million Chinese people will travel during this year's National Day holiday, and that about 5.9 million will go abroad.

According to the same report, in order to attract Chinese tourists, Japan has been preparing since January of last year, carrying out plans to prolong visa validity for high-income Chinese citizens from three years to five. Because many Chinese tourists love to shop in duty-free stores, Japan's first duty-free shop in an urban district was opened in Tokyo earlier this year. In addition, Japan has broadened the range of commodities eligible for tax refunds and increased the per capita amount of said refunds to 500,000 yen.

Thailand went with a "high-end" strategy for this year’s holiday. In order to stimulate the country's tourism industry, the Thai government signed an MOU with the Chinese government to reject low-price tourist groups. If the MOU can truly help to improve the degree of satisfaction of Chinese tourists, then the Thai government stands to earn $16.5 billion in tourist revenue in 2017.

France, which boasts the world's largest number of foreign tourists, has experienced a decline in Chinese tourist due to recent terrorist events. However, the country has launched a "safe city" activity to change its image. Meanwhile, in July, New York City and Shanghai signed an agreement to promote tourism exchange between the two cities, and Australia launched a "China 2020" activity right before the National Day holiday.

The Korean government is also preparing for the holiday, with Seoul naming the National Day period "Chinese Tourist Week" and holding a series of related events. Since Sept. 29, the Korean Shopping and Tourism Festival has been in full swing, also attempting to attract Chinese tourists.

An executive of a large department store in South Korea remarked, "It is a pity that the Chinese National Day only happens once a year. It is a precious opportunity for South Korea. We all have high hopes for this upcoming holiday." 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kong Defang, Bianji)

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