China provides inbound tourists with more convenient services

(People's Daily Online) 10:26, March 05, 2024

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism is actively launching an inbound tourism promotion plan to help accelerate the recovery of the inbound tourism sector.

The cultural and tourism departments of several regions across the country have rolled out measures to boost inbound tourism, while tourism companies have offered innovative products and improved services, working together to provide inbound tourists with more convenient services.

A tourist from Poland shows a bottle of liquor he bought during his tour in Beijing. (Photo courtesy of CYTS International Travel. Co., Ltd.)

According to leading Chinese online travel agency Ctrip, during the Spring Festival holiday, China's visa-free policy for ordinary passport holders from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia and Singapore resulted in a significant increase in the number of tourists entering China from these countries, doubling from the same period in 2019.

A charter flight from Kuala Lumpur carrying 286 Malaysian tourists landed in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, to spend the Spring Festival holiday and enjoy the ice and snow scenery and activities there.

"Living in the tropics, we have never experienced the cold weather in northeast China. This time, we decided to travel to Shenyang during the Spring Festival period to let children and elders experience different cultures and appreciate the natural beauty of different climatic conditions," said a tourist named Looi from Malaysia.

Vietnamese tourists pose for a group photo in Jingxi, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

In January this year, Sanya city in south China's Hainan Province welcomed 64,000 international overnight tourists , a remarkable growth of 329 percent year on year.

In the same month, Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, received 54,000 international overnight tourists, an astonishing increase of 926 percent year on year.

Since the beginning of this year, Zhangjiajie in central China's Hunan Province has seen a boom in inbound tourism, with tourists from over 20 countries and regions including South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and France flocking in.

To better attract overseas tourists, many places across China have taken multiple measures to enhance the international reputation and appeal of their tourist destinations.

Foreign tourists take selfies in Sanya city, south China's Hainan Province. (Photo courtesy of the tourism development bureau of Sanya city)

In recent years, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism has made efforts to develop the inbound tourism market by enriching products, expanding global communication channels, and enhancing interactions with sister cities. A project launched by Beijing has offered 88 emerging cultural and tourism destinations under 11 themes in Beijing, creating various cultural tourism consumption products such as cycling, intangible cultural heritages, walking tours, and night tours. The supply of inbound tourism products in the city continues to grow.

This year, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism will arrange for companies to participate in major international tourism exhibitions such as the ITB Berlin and the World Travel Market London to continuously inject new impetus into the high-quality development of Beijing's inbound tourism.

This year, the culture and tourism department of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region will optimize inbound tourism products and routes, carry out tourism exchange and promotion activities in key overseas tourist source markets such as ASEAN, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the Americas, and strengthen cultural and tourism exchanges with Malacca, Malaysia. It will also enhance coordination and communication with Vietnam to jointly develop tourism routes and promote the resumption of China-Vietnam cross-border self-driving tours.

The tourism development bureau of Sanya city will continue to step up international marketing efforts to promote the development of inbound flights by focusing on key overseas tourist source markets including Russia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. It will strive to build itself into an international tourism resort, strengthen the Sanya Tourism Festival brand, and host domestically and globally influential music festivals, concerts, fashion shows, art exhibitions and other activities to raise the profile of Sanya's inbound tourism.

Tourism companies have continuously made innovations in developing tourism products, guaranteeing services, and other areas, facilitating the rebound of inbound tourism.

Ctrip has worked out a solution for inbound tourists to use their phone numbers to open digital yuan personal wallets so they can make payments in digital yuan when they book tourism products. It also provides 24/7 multilingual customer services and international SOS services for emergency assistance.

Trip.com, a platform of Ctrip, has become a one-stop portal for overseas tourists traveling to China, providing services such as hotel booking, travel advice, transportation and payment methods. At present, the platform has served over 100,000 foreign tourists. This year, the group is looking to serve 150 percent more inbound tourists compared to 2019.

A foreign tourist uses his phone to pay by scanning an Alipay QR code in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province. (Photo courtesy of Alipay)

Alipay, one of China's major payment apps, has allowed foreign tourists in China to pay with their overseas bank cards via the app or use their own home e-wallets by scanning Alipay QR codes. During the Spring Festival holiday, spending by foreign tourists in China using the app and their home e-wallets by scanning Alipay QR codes surged 500 percent and 32 times year on year, respectively.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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