An appeal beyond borders

Updated: Sep 4, 2019 By Yang Feiyue China Daily Print
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Foreign tourists visit a Beijing hutong (alleyway).[Photo provided to China Daily]

Each year, funds will be allocated to help publicize those products, Cao says.

At the summit, German travel agency China Tour presented driving programs from Berlin to Beijing.

Hutong (alleyways) and night-tour programs have also been created. And tourism operators overseas are making a point of encouraging their compatriots to take public transport and travel like locals.

Terry Dale, president of the United States Tour Operators Association, was amazed by the sights of the capital during his stay for the summit.

"Everything is so clean, and I feel very safe. And those are the attributes that are becoming more important to US travelers," Dale says.

Dale says he thinks that US tour operators have only scratched the surface when it comes to organizing trips to China, and to Beijing specifically.

"I think what they're looking for today is more exploration of neighborhoods, and they want to feel that they get to know the local people," says Dale.

"There's an appetite for it, and it is growing."

Dale says he will share his Beijing experiences with US tour operators to help them find and develop opportunities.

Randall Deer from Australia-based Ignite Travel says that his agency expects to bring 200,000 travelers to Beijing this year.

"Australia has seen the fastest growth in tourists to Beijing," Deer says.

His agency has experienced annual growth of 30 to 40 percent in recent years.

The tourism-partnership summit will focus on promoting the Winter Olympics and traditional Chinese medicine.

"We believe Beijing has great potential to further develop its inbound tourism," Cao says.

The municipality has been receiving about 4 million inbound visits every year.

Beijing offers 144-hour visa-free transit and shopping-rebate policies to entice travelers from abroad to visit the capital.

Tourism products featuring local cultural elements have been developed in recent years, such as the ancient royal city along the Central Axis.

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