Large foreign cruise ships visit Shanghai as inbound tourism recovery takes off

2024-04-07 15:50:28Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Large inbound cruise ship "Mein Schiff" carrying 2,500 foreign travelers berthed at Shanghai's Wusongkou International Terminal on Saturday for a two-day stopover, while another two cruise ships are also reportedly set to arrive in Shanghai recently, carrying nearly 1,000 foreign inbound tourists.

Most of the tourists on Mein Schiff are from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, according to a report published on the Shanghai government website.

The tourists were warmly greeted with boisterous dragon and lion dances, as well as specially designed gifts. Meanwhile, financial institutions were invited to the welcome ceremony to provide currency exchange and mobile payment service support.

Data showed that Shanghai received 10 inbound cruise ships between January and March this year, bringing with them more than 22,000 travelers. A total of 18 cruise ships are expected to visit Shanghai this year, carrying over 40,000 inbound travelers.

The successive arrivals of foreign cruise ships in China so far this year underscores the rebound of the inbound tourism market, Jiang Yiyi, a deputy head of the School of Leisure Sports and Tourism at Beijing Sport University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The willingness of foreigners to visit China has increased, partly thanks to supportive measures including visa-free policies and the easing of problems for foreign visitors like mobile payment hurdles, according to Jiang.

In the latest development, from March 14 to November 30, 2024, citizens from six European countries - Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg - are able to visit China for business, sight-seeing, transit and other purposes for up to 15 days without having to apply for a visa.

As related policies continue to produce effects, the country's inbound tourism market - whether in passenger trips and revenue generated - will outperform that recorded in 2019, Jiang said.

Border inspection agencies across China handled nearly 5.19 million entry and exit trips during the just-ended Qingming Festival holidays which drew to a close on Saturday, data from the National Immigration Administration (NIA) showed Sunday.

The number of entry and exit trips by foreigners reached 500,000, an increase of 163.2 percent compared to the same period in 2023, NIA data showed.


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