Friendly travel policies push inbound tourism surge

Visitors from around the world welcomed, visa-free entry helps boost sector

By YANG FEIYUE | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-04-11 07:15
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Tourists visit the Palace Museum in Beijing on Sunday. CHINA DAILY

German beer index

Restaurants that cater to overseas travel groups have been in contact with her, hoping to resume business cooperation. Yu cites this as clear evidence inbound tourism is recovering.

Eateries that have long-term agreements with travel agencies will tailor their menus according to the preferences of tourists from different countries, she said.

"For example, German tourists love beer, so the restaurant will provide two bottles of beer for them," Yu said.

Tourism operators have also launched a range of financial services to make the stay of inbound travelers more convenient.

A number of high-end hotels and restaurants in the capital not only accept international credit card payments, but also provide foreign-currency exchange services as many overseas guests prefer to pay in cash.

"Due to the complexity of the process, we have specifically conducted training on manual foreign-currency exchanges," said Zhong Yong, deputy general manager of China World Summit Wing, a Shangri-La hotel in Beijing.

Guests can also use their bank cards to withdraw cash at the self-service foreign-currency exchange machines in the lobby, Zhong added.

However, a rising number of inbound guests want to use local electronic payment services while visiting China. Zhong's hotel guides them on how to link their international credit cards to Alipay and WeChat Pay and how to make payments through them.

Some hotels offer simpler ways for foreign visitors to get cash and also experience Beijing at a more local level. At Huajiantang hotel, tucked away in a Beijing hutong, a guide is available to take guests to nearby banks.

The hotel also provides a map highlighting public transportation as well as call services for emergencies, said Zhu Hailong, the hotel's general manager.

For guests who don't want to go far, Huajiantang gives recommendations on neighborhood sights, shops and restaurants. It also offers guests handicraft classes such as making dolls of Tu'er Ye (the Lord Rabbit).

At Hotel Jen Beijing, inbound travelers are given advice on how to use mobile phones to hail taxis, how to book and purchase tickets for popular attractions, and how to purchase domestic flights and train tickets, and select seats. The goal is to make their trips smoother, said Zhang Lize, a deputy manager at the Hotel Jen.

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