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Beijing to attract European tourists

Date: 2014.05.12 Editor: Evelyn Shi

Beijing has vowed to come up with more promotions to attract European tourists to the city. According to the local authorities, they would increase tourism drives in targeted European countries after a less than satisfying performance of inbound travelers to Beijing.


According to the commission, the first quarter of this year saw 680,000 foreigners visit the capital, an 11.1 percent year-on-year decrease. The number of European visitors dropped to 201,000, a 13.3 percent reduction compared to the same period last year. However it is believed that the enhanced global marketing could help revive inbound tourism.


The Chinese capital has ramped up its tourism marketing globally since 2013. It has advertised on CNN, the BBC, the National Geographic Channel and Fox and promoted its visa waiver policy at Chinese embassies and consulates. The capital's 72-hour visa waiver policy, which started on Jan 1, 2013, applies to foreign tourists from 45 countries.


The commission said the city is considering a tax refund program, which would allow foreign visitors to claim tax refunds at shopping malls in the city, to attract more European tourists.


The government is also working to make the visa application process easier for foreigners and wants to come up with more customized tour packages to include airport bus discounts that will help visitors get directly from the airport to hotels and attractions.


As well, the capital has boosted its bilingual signage to help make travel easier for Western visitors.