China boosts inbound tourism

December 3, 2023
Updated 2023/12/03 at 9:50 AM
4 Min Read

The China International Travel Mart 2023 was held earlier this month in Kunming, capital city of southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

The travel fair was attended by representatives from the tourism departments of countries like South Africa and Thailand, as well as by representatives from organizations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the World Tourism Alliance.

Participants discussed topics such as the revival of inbound tourism in China and the enhancement of exchanges between China and other countries, injecting fresh momentum into the revitalization and growth of China’s inbound tourism market.

Upon their arrival at the Kunming Changshui International Airport, Kunming, German travel agents who came to attend the China International Travel Mart 2023 were warmly greeted by students from a college in Kunming.

Kunming was the first stop for these German travel agents to re-enter China after a three-year hiatus. They were here to gain a deeper understanding of local tourism resources.

Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, said China has implemented various policies and measures to facilitate the entry of foreign tourists and boost the popularity of the inbound tourism market since the end of March 2023.

According to an official from the National Immigration Administration, visa services are currently available at 99 border ports in 72 cities with a significant flow of inbound tourists. Regional visa-free policies have also been introduced in Hainan, Shanghai, and other areas.

These policies include a 15-day visa-free policy for cruise passengers entering Shanghai, a 30-day visa-free policy for citizens of 59 countries entering Hainan, and a 144-hour visa-free policy for ASEAN tour groups entering Guilin, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

These measures are aimed at facilitating exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign individuals.

Bangladeshi travel agents taste red jujubes from northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at the China International Travel Mart 2023. (Xinhua/Chen Xinbo)

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is actively adjusting visa and entry policies to provide more channels and convenience for foreigners visiting China, according to an official from the MFA’s Department of Consular Affairs.

The China-Laos Railway, which passes through highlands, canyons, and plains, has become a popular choice for international travelers. Since the cross-border passenger services was launched in April this year, 348,000 passenger trips have been made on the railway. This has boosted tourism in destinations such as Xishuangbanna and Kunming in Yunnan.

Wang Jie, with the China Tourism Academy, said tourists from Southeast Asian countries have a strong demand to visit China. During this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, a travel agency in Kunming received around 150 inbound tour groups.

“For Laotian tourists, the cost of flying to China used to be relatively high. But they can now take the high-speed train to Kunming and enjoy the scenery along the way,” said Wang.

The China International Travel Mart 2023 introduced seven themed tourism products to enhance the cross-border travel experience for visitors to China via the China-Laos Railway.

The fair, with an exhibition area of 90,000 square meters, attracted brands from various countries and regions to showcase their tourism resources and innovative developments.

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