Beijing receives 469,000 inbound tourist visits in Q1

(People's Daily Online) 09:30, May 08, 2024

Beijing, as a major inbound tourist destination in China, welcomed 469,000 inbound tourist visits in the first quarter of 2024, up 3.1 times year on year and reaching 67.2 percent of the 2019 level, according to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism.

The city recorded 4.67 billion yuan ($647.4 million) in tourism-related foreign exchange earnings in the same period, which reflected a remarkable year-on-year increase of 240 percent and reached 71.9 percent of the amount recorded in the same period in 2019, the bureau said.

Tourists from the U.K. pose for a group photo in front of the Palace Museum in Beijing. (Photo courtesy of CTG Travel)

Beijing received 95,000 tourist visits from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, or 80.1 percent of the 2019 level. The number of foreign tourist visits stood at 375,000—which was 64.6 percent of the 2019 level. There were more Asian visitors than European ones. Among the Asian visitors, 17,000 tourist visits were from Malaysia and 12,000 from Thailand, up 24.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. The number of tourist visits from Singapore reached 22,000, and recovered to 87.7 percent of the 2019 level.

China's visa-free entry policies have led to a notable increase in Beijing's inbound tourism sector. Travelers from countries covered by the new policies, including Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, in Beijing in the first three months of this year were nearly five times more than that of the same period in 2023.

Since the beginning of this year, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism has collaborated with several departments to promote the recovery of inbound tourism and provide a convenient and efficient travel experience for inbound visitors in the city by focusing on entry, travel, lodging, sightseeing, shopping, and payments.

For instance, Beijing built payment service demonstration zones at the Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport for overseas tourists, with payment service centers providing consultation services for 3,305 international visitors, and processed 139,448 transactions with foreign bank cards and completed 25,152 foreign currency exchange requests from early February, since they were put into operation, to late March.

Russian tourists pose for a group photo in front of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. (Photo courtesy of CTG Travel)

By the end of March, POS devices compatible with multiple foreign currencies had been installed, upgraded, or renovated in Beijing's 79 5A-level and 4A-level tourist attractions, 154 five-star and four-star hotels, or 89 percent of the city's total five-star and four-star hotels, 11 municipal parks, and eight stations including the Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station.

Beijing has rolled out 88 new cultural and tourism destinations featuring 11 distinct themes and continuously improved the inbound tourists' experience in cycling, intangible cultural heritage items, and "city walks."

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism has continued to promote Beijing's image, launching cultural and tourism exchange and promotion activities in overseas markets, and has advertised the city's distinctive cultural and tourism products. This has continuously enhanced its standing as a global tourist destination.

Brazilian tourists pose for a group photo at the Mutianyu Great Wall Scenic Area in Beijing. (Photo courtesy of the Mutianyu Great Wall Scenic Area)

Starting January this year, the bureau has posted a series of travel tips for convenient inbound trips on six major overseas social media platforms, providing practical travel advice for international visitors.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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