Inbound tourism drive sparks optimistic outlook(5)

2024-06-07 08:03:24China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Payments made easy

Led by the national policy, Beijing has taken a series of measures to improve international travel services this year, said Wei Rong, director of international exchanges and cooperation at the Beijing culture and tourism bureau.

A new portal website for the international community, available in nine languages, has been up and running since March. Inbound traveler payment demonstration sites have been established at the Beijing Capital International Airport and the Beijing Daxing International Airport, Wei said.

"Payment services in key areas such as dining, accommodation, transportation, tourism, shopping, entertainment, study and healthcare have been comprehensively optimized," Wei said.

Tourists from Southeast Asian countries can use their local apps to pay in China, as some of them have connections with the payment giant China UnionPay, said a staff member from the company at the Beijing conference.

"For long-haul tourists from Europe and the US, they can download UnionPay and use their local bank card to apply and deposit money onto a virtual card, before they can use UnionPay for purchase," the staff member said.

The positive measures have helped Beijing receive 790,000 inbound tourists from January to April, a year-on-year increase of 291 percent, and 70 percent of the pre-pandemic level in 2019, the Beijing bureau reported.

International flights between Beijing and outbound destinations including Seattle, Dublin and Madrid have resumed, and the frequency of flights to New York, Los Angeles, Munich, Seoul and Tokyo has been increased.

Daxing airport has also opened new international routes to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and Jeju in South Korea.

As a result, Beijing's total air passenger throughput reached 37.54 million in the first four months, a year-on-year increase of 49.3 percent, and equal to 114 percent of the 2019 level for the same period.

The international and regional passenger throughput was 5.83 million, a year-on-year increase of 371.2 percent, reaching 65 percent of the 2019 level, according to the bureau.

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