Beijing drops as tourist destination--China travel News

created: 2009-04-13

The number of holidaymakers visiting the capital fell by 11 percent to 436,491 in January and February this year, Gu Xiaoyuan, deputy chief of Beijing tourism administration, said yesterday.

The amount of tourists from Japan and South Korea - which represented 40 percent of the inbound market in recent years - decreased by 16 percent on the same period last year.

In South Korea, the fast depreciation of its currency against the yuan has increased the price of tour packages to China, she said.

More importantly, its government has stopped all overseas student tours this year, and asked citizens to reduce overseas travel to help combat the recession.

However, the number of tourists from Hong Kong increased by 15 percent and there were 25 percent more holidaymakers from Taiwan, the figures show.

The small administrative region of Macao posted a 106 percent rise.

In addition, the number of North American tourists increased by 6.6 percent which was "unexpected", Gu said.

Liu Ping, manager of an inbound Beijing tour agency, said her business had experienced a decrease in overseas customers.

The administration has said it was aiming for a 5 percent growth on major indexes, including tourism revenue, year on year.

To achieve the goal, Gu said, the city will try to promote it as a popular destination for business tourism, which brings in high-end tourists with lots of money.

There are also plans for Beijing to sponsor influential sports events, including NBA games in the United States, and the Chinese F1 Grand Prix in Shanghai, to promote the city as a tourism destination.



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