China enhances foreign traveler payment services, anticipates continued market growth

By Cheng Si (Chinadaily.com.cn) 09:32, March 12, 2024

China will see a continuously booming tourism market because of people's growing demand for higher-quality life. The nation is also taking measures to facilitate foreign travelers' payment to let them have a better traveling experience, said a senior official.

"The payment issue of foreign travelers is an unexpected problem. China has seen rapid development in information technology and the digital economy in recent years, which has driven the popularization of mobile payment. Chinese people have been used to mobile payment in regards to daily transport, dining and shopping," said Sun Yeli, minister of culture and tourism in Beijing on Monday.

He said that the central government has put focus on solving the problem and the State Council — China's Cabinet, has released a guideline earlier this month to include many practical measures to facilitate the payment of foreign travelers.

He said that many hotels, airports and shopping malls in Shanghai have upgraded their POS (point to sales) services and Beijing is also stepping up efforts to upgrade the POS services.

The government is cooperating with e-payment platforms and companies to streamline foreign travelers' authentication procedures of linking bank cards and raising the e-payment limits. All consumption-related places should take cash and change, he said.

Sun Yeli, minister of culture and tourism, speaks at a minister's passage interview on March 11, 2024. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/China Daily]

In addition to boosting inbound tourism through optimizing payment methods, Sun said that the ministry will also urge governments at all levels to enhance supervision over the domestic tourism market and improve the tourism services to secure a better tourism economy.

"It's estimated that the domestic destinations have received nearly 4.9 billion visits last year, with the tourism-related revenue reaching about 5 trillion yuan ($695.97 billion) … the booming tourism has promoted domestic consumption, employment and given stronger confidence to people involved in the industry," Sun said.

He took Harbin as an example, the capital of northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which went viral online in the winter because of the snow and ice views. The local government said that the city received about 120 million people from November to February, and the tourism-related revenue soared to 170 billion yuan during the period. "The snow and ice is also turning gold," Sun said.

He said that Chinese people have changed their pursuit of a good life from basic livelihood to a spiritual one, with culture and tourism activities becoming important parts of people's ideal life. The government will release more preferential policies to develop culture and tourism-related industries, and improve the tourism infrastructure and services to better meet people's demands.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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