The implementation of policies is effective, and the prospects of the inbound tourism market are promising


"Recently, I have been shuttling back and forth between major scenic spots and historical sites in Beijing every weekend, receiving tourists from multiple countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, the United States, and Poland. Mr. Fang, who works part-time as a bilingual tour guide in Beijing, told China Securities News." Since the beginning of this year, I feel like I have an endless number of orders to take on. Currently, there is no available schedule for the entire month of June, and we are about to enter the peak summer season. It is highly likely that the weekend will be busy. "Since the beginning of this year, the popularity of inbound tourism has increased, with a significant increase in foreign tourists visiting China. Many netizens have posted on social media stating that "there are more and more foreign faces around us.". Experts say that the introduction of a series of visa free policies has greatly reduced the economic burden and time cost of foreign tourists coming to China. In addition, measures to optimize payment services and other obstacles have been effective, leading to an increase in the willingness of foreign tourists to travel to China. With more favorable policies taking effect, the prospects for the inbound tourism market are promising. China has a strong attraction. On June 10, Ctrip released the Travel Report on the Loong Boat Festival 2024, which shows that traditional folk customs attract more foreign tourists to experience, and the booking volume of inbound Dragon Boat Festival tours has increased by 115% year-on-year. On the morning of the 9th, in front of the prayer hall of the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing, tourists had already formed a long queue. Our family had planned to come to China for a long time, with Beijing being the first stop. We will also go to Xi'an and Shanghai, and plan to stay here for a total of two weeks. In front of the blue bricks, red walls, and glazed tiles in the Temple of Heaven, Mr. Chen from Singapore asked reporters to take a group check-in photo for their family. "We went to the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace yesterday and were shocked. In my work, I met many friends from China, who recommended Beijing and Shanghai to me. I always wanted to see the Terra Cotta Warriors on the spot, so I also arranged a trip to Xi'an, which will be a rich Chinese cultural journey," Mr. Chen told reporters. Dai Bin, President of the China Tourism Research Institute, stated that currently, China's natural scenery and cultural history still have a strong attraction to inbound tourists. At the same time, the lifestyle of a moderately prosperous society is increasingly becoming a new aspect of cultural exchange and tourism promotion. New landmarks such as Daxing Airport, Beijing CBD, Guangzhou Tower, Beijing Shanghai High speed Railway, Pudong New Area, Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge, etc., together with the Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Warriors, Yin Ruins, Liangzhu Ruins, etc., become new carriers to show the national tourism image. Li Mengran, the media public relations manager of Zhongxin Tourism Group, further stated that summer vacation will become an important time node in the inbound tourism market. "Summer vacation is the longest peak tourism season of the year, and in addition, the Christmas holiday, New Year's Day holiday, and Easter holiday in April are also important points where inbound tourism is more concentrated." Behind the strong recovery of inbound tourism due to multiple convenient policies, there are many difficulties such as visas and payments gradually being overcome. On May 7, 2024, China decided to extend the visa free policy for short-term visits of citizens from 12 countries to China until the end of 2025. As of December 31, 2025, individuals holding ordinary passports from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg who come to China for business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends, and transit for no more than 15 days are eligible for visa free entry. According to data from the Ctrip platform, since 2024, the number of inbound tourist orders from the aforementioned 12 countries to China has increased by 341% year-on-year, with Malaysia, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands having the highest number of inbound tourists. Malaysia's inbound tourism orders increased by 485% year-on-year, and it is also the country with the highest growth rate; German inbound travel orders increased by 223%, while France increased by 273%. At present, China also implements a 72/144 hour visa free transit policy for citizens of 54 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan. Recently, many foreign tourists have taken advantage of China's visa free transit policy to engage in short-term "special forces style" tourism to China. In addition, starting from May 15th, China has fully implemented a visa free policy for foreign tourist groups entering coastal provinces by cruise ship. Foreign tourist groups who take a cruise ship and are received by domestic travel agencies can enter the country as a whole from cruise ports in 13 cities without visa application. The Ctrip Tourism Research Institute stated that the visa free policy has solved the problem of visa difficulties for many foreign tourists, providing policy support for them to travel to China and making "say go" a reality. With the implementation of favorable policies and the active innovation of various business entities, the experience of the entire inbound tourism chain will be continuously optimized, providing a guarantee for the sustained growth of inbound tourism. In response to the payment bottleneck, specific measures have been taken in Beijing, Shanghai, and other places to further meet the diverse payment service needs of foreign visitors and other groups. It is understood that measures in various regions have made phased progress, with a significant increase in the amount and number of domestic payment transactions for foreign nationals. The dual wheel drive of policy and market has further restored inbound tourism, and the increase in international flights and density is also indispensable. The 2024 Dragon Boat Festival Civil Aviation Travel Forecast Report released by the civil aviation data platform Aviation Travel Horizon shows that the recovery level of international passenger flights is significant. It is expected that there will be over 4800 international passenger flights during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday (June 8-10), a year-on-year increase of about 72%, and a recovery of about 75% from 2019. Many airlines continue to increase the number of international routes and flights. For example, starting from June 1, 2024, Air China will encrypt its UK route and add a Beijing Capital London Gatwick route, with a daily schedule. After the increase, Air China's UK route will increase to 62 round-trip flights per week. Southern Airlines resumed round-trip flights from Kathmandu to Guangzhou on June 1st, with flights scheduled every Tuesday and Saturday from June 1st to July 15th, and one daily flight starting from July 16th. Starting from June 24th, Xiamen Airlines will also resume the Quanzhou Singapore route, with one flight per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. "This year, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) continues to prioritize the increase of international passenger flights, coordinate and implement policies with relevant departments, fully promote the further resumption of international passenger flights, actively support Chinese and foreign airlines to increase capacity investment on China's international routes, improve the international route network, and facilitate the exchange of Chinese and foreign personnel." Xu Qing, Deputy Director of the Transport Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, recently stated. With the development of inbound tourism entering a dual wheel drive stage of policy and market, China's inbound tourism is receiving sustained positive momentum. The industry believes that more foreign tourists will have a more enjoyable and convenient travel experience in China. "Under the active catalysis of flight resumption, visa facilitation, and visa free policies, the tourism supply chain is gradually returning to the right track." Yang Jinsong, Director of the International Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Tourism, said. (Lai Xin She)

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