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Officials upbeat, turn focus to work ahead

Amid signs of the economy picking up, leading figures vow to strive for progress

China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-12 09:17

Editor's Note: A group of ministerial-level officials gave interviews on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the sidelines of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress. The five officials are in charge of tourism, customs, financial administration, sports and intellectual property rights protection.

Sun Yeli, minister of culture and tourism, speaks at the minister's passage interview on March 11, 2024. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/China Daily]

Sun Yeli

Minister of culture and tourism

The tourism market will continue to flourish in China because of the growing demand from people for a higher-quality life, said a senior official.

"It is estimated that domestic destinations received nearly 4.9 billion tourist visits last year, with tourism-related revenue touching about 5 trillion yuan ($695.97 billion). The tourism boom has promoted domestic consumption and employment, and given greater confidence to people involved in the industry," said Sun Yeli, minister of culture and tourism, in Beijing on Monday.

Highlighting the success of winter tourism in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, Sun said, "The snow and ice are shining like gold." The city received about 120 million tourist visits from November to February, with a total revenue of around 170 billion yuan, according to local authorities.

He said the ministry will also urge governments at all levels to enhance supervision of the domestic tourism market and improve services to ensure a better tourism economy.

The nation is also taking measures to improve payment facilities for foreign travelers to offer them a better traveling experience.

"China has seen rapid development in information technology and the digital economy in recent years, which has driven the popularity of mobile payment," Sun said.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, released a guideline earlier this month to help facilitate payments by foreign travelers, he noted, adding that many hotels, airports and shopping malls in Shanghai have upgraded their point of sales services, and Beijing is also stepping up efforts in this regard.

The government is cooperating with e-payment platforms and companies to streamline authentication procedures so that foreign travelers can link their bank cards and raise e-payment limits.

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