Number of Inbound Tourists to Beijing Continues to Rise


British tourists visit the Forbidden City in Beijing. [Photo via CTG Travel]


Russian tourists visit the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. [Photo via CTG Travel]


Brazilian tourists visit the Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing. [Photo via Mutianyu Great Wall Scenic Area]

Beijing is a popular destination for inbound tourists visiting China. Since the beginning of 2024, thanks to various favorable entry policies, the number of inbound tourists visiting Beijing has been on the rise.

It is reported that in the first quarter, Beijing recorded 469,000 visits by inbound tourists, and achieving foreign-currency tourism revenue of CNY 4.67 billion, indicating a growth by 240 percent. The number of tourists from the six countries covered by the latest visa-free policy (Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland) has increased significantly by five times compared with the same period in 2023.

Since the beginning of 2024, Beijing has spared no efforts to address the challenges faced by inbound tourists in various aspects such as entry, transportation, accommodation, sightseeing, shopping, and payment, to boost the inbound tourism market. For instance, at both Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport, demonstration zones for payment services for overseas visitors have been established. The payment service centers have provided services to 3,305 foreign guests since their opening in early February to the end of March. As of the end of March, 79 tourist attractions of 5A and 4A level, 89 percent of five-star and four-star hotels, 340 locations in 11 municipal parks, as well as eight stations including Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station, have been equipped with foreign currency POS machines or have completed upgrading these machines.

Beijing is home to a rich array of cultural and tourism resources and has introduced 88 new tourist destinations across 11 themes, continuously expanding the offerings of inbound tourism products such as those concerning cycling, intangible cultural heritage experiences, and walking tours. Since January this year, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism has been planning and publishing a series of promotional content on six major overseas social media platforms, providing practical travel advice for international tourists. Leveraging policies like the 144-hour visa-free transit policy and visa exemptions for multiple countries, the bureau has invited foreign influencers living in Beijing to share their firsthand experiences. These influencers have documented real-life travel and daily experiences in Beijing, providing useful content such as professional travel tips, the latest shop reviews, tips for payment via Apps, and transportation guides.

Since the beginning of 2024, the international and regional passenger throughput at Beijing Capital International Airport has been growing, exceeding 5 million by May 16, a figure indicating an increase by over 300 percent year-on-year. Currently, the airport has 82 international and regional passenger routes, covering 49 countries across five continents, with more than 30 intercontinental routes. Due to the recent visa facilitation measures of China, there has been a significant increase in the number of foreign inbound passengers at the airport. The number of inbound passengers from countries such as Belgium, Hungary and Spain has more than doubled compared with the previous statistical period.

Sources: People's Daily (Overseas Edition), Beijing Daily App