One-year Overview of Restored Inbound Tourism in Beijing in Numbers

March 31 marked the first anniversary of the nationwide resumption of the inbound foreign tourist groups and "air ticket + hotel" services for travel agents and online tourism businesses. The inbound tourism market in Beijing is rebounding quickly. According to industrial analysis, with the successive implementation of favorable policies, the recovery of Beijing's inbound tourism business will further accelerate.


Universal Beijing Resort has become a new popular scenic area

On February 9 the mutual visa exemption agreement between China and Singapore came into effect. Betty from Singapore brought her family to Universal Beijing Resort in March. Like Betty, many foreign visitors plan to visit the resort during their trips to Beijing.

Universal Beijing Resort, the Badaling Great Wall, the Mutianyu Great Wall, the National Museum of China, Prince Gong's Mansion, the Palace Museum, the Summer Palace, the Old Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, and the Geological Museum of China were the top 10 destinations for foreign visitors to Beijing from March 31, 2023 to present, according to Ctrip's data.

Up to 40 percent of inbound tourists visited the Great Wall

Beijing's typical tourist sites have each seen a significant increase in the number of foreign visitors, in addition to the city's newest attractions. The Great Wall has been a well-liked site for incoming tourists for decades. International visitors who visited the Mutianyu Great Wall last year accounted for ten percent of the total, which is one-fourth of the same period in 2019. Starting from March the inbound tourism market has rapidly rebounded, with international visitors making up 40 percent of the total number, nearly three times more than that during the same period in 2023 and on par with the same period in 2019. On March 25 alone, foreign visitors accounted for up to 60 percent of all the visitors.

Since March 14 when China waived visa requirements for citizens of six countries including Switzerland, Beijing has seen a spike in the number of European travelers. To fully appreciate the allure of the historic capital, these tourists usually started their journey at well-known tourist destinations like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.

International tourists account for more than half of the guests in hotels in Beijing's central business districts

The hotels near Beijing's well-known tourist locations were full due to the notable rise in the number of foreign visitors to these locations. Furthermore, lodgings in major commercial districts were also the top pick for visiting tourists. Based on data from Ctrip, Beijing's top 10 hotels for incoming tourists are Aerotel Beijing, Beijing Jinglun Hotel, Legendale Hotel Beijing, JI Hotel at the Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport, and Kempinski Hotel Beijing Yansha Center. It is obvious that Beijing Capital International Airport, scenic areas, and major commercial districts were preferred by arriving tourists.

About 1.1684 million inbound visits recorded in 2023

The resumption of international flights and the implementation of various regulations facilitating entry of foreign nationals have attracted travelers from all around the world to China. According to the official website of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, the city recorded about 1.1684 million visits made by foreign visitors from January to December 2023. Of these, 388,200 were from Asia (excluding Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, and Taiwan region), 282,200 were from Europe, and 155,800 were from the United States. Recently, more and more Americans and European travelers have been drawn by the visa-free policy.

Upgrade and renovation of payment scenarios have been underway

With the continued increase in the number of inbound tourists, Beijing is actively upgrading and transforming payment scenarios, and improving services through measures such as accessible communication.

The International Web Portal of Beijing now has taken on a new look and is available in the following languages: English, Korean, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Portuguese. The website offers a plethora of practical urban services related to payment, travel, education, life, and tourism for foreigners including investors from overseas.

Nowadays, dictionaries and translation machines have become standard equipment in many hotels, and several hotels in Beijing are optimizing their admission payment systems.

Beijing's tourist attractions are also making efforts to enhance the quality of their services for foreign visitors. To accommodate visitors from various countries and regions, tickets for the Mutianyu Great Wall can now be purchased online using foreign currency credit cards by foreign tourists wishing to book in advance. By using their passports, they can enter various scenic areas. Meanwhile, all 11 of Temple of Heaven's retail locations are outfitted with point-of-sale systems that facilitate the payments and settlements with foreign currency bank cards, catering to the shopping requirements of overseas visitors as much as possible.

(Source: Beijing Business Today)