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Foreign tourist visits see holiday upsurge

By YANG ZEKUN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-06 22:16

Tourists flock to the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing on Thursday, the second day of the five-day May Day holiday. Ju Huanzong / Xinhua

The implementation of a series of more convenient immigration management policies has led to a dramatic upsurge in foreign tourist entries into China during this year's May Day holiday, injecting robust vitality into the interaction between people of the country and the rest of the world.

National border inspection agencies inspected nearly 8.47 million entries and exits made by Chinese and foreign nationals from May 1 to 5, marking a 35.1 percent year-on-year increase, according to data released on Monday by the National Immigration Administration.

According to online travel company Trip.com Group, the growth rate of inbound and outbound tourism bookings surpassed those of domestic travel during the five-day holiday, with inbound tourism bookings growing 105 percent year-on-year.

The effect of China's visa exemption policies was significant, with about a 2.5-fold year-on-year increase in inbound tourists from 14 countries benefiting from these policies, including Singapore and Thailand.

Among provincial capitals, cities with rapid growth in inbound tourism bookings included Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Xi'an in Shaanxi province and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province.

Popular attractions for inbound tourists were primarily historical museums, theme parks and landmark buildings. New travel projects such as helicopter tours in Sanya, Hainan province, also proved popular among foreign visitors, according to Trip.com.

Tongcheng Travel, a tourism agency based in Jiangsu province, noted that during the holiday, popular destinations for inbound flights included cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong province and Chengdu in Sichuan province, all of which have greater international visibility and attraction for inbound tourism.

The Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism revealed that the city received approximately 16.24 million tourist visits during the May Day holiday, a year-on-year increase of 3.77 percent.

As of Sunday, the city's inbound tourism bookings this year had increased 306 percent compared with the same period last year.

Since the beginning of the year, China's inbound tourism market has shown signs of accelerated recovery.

According to the National Immigration Administration, authorities inspected about 13.07 million border crossings made by foreigners in the first quarter, a 305 percent year-on-year increase.

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