An appeal beyond borders

Updated: Sep 4, 2019 By Yang Feiyue China Daily Print
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A participant of the recent Beijing Tourism Global Distribution Partnership Summit practices Chinese calligraphy during the event.[Photo by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

The Beijing Enamel Factory has attracted inbound travelers' curiosity over the years.

The site offers traditional art that dates back more than 600 years. Now, items purchased there are eligible for tax rebates.

"Most visitors are individual travelers from the US and Europe," says Yi Fucheng, chair of the factory.

They come to visit the plant's museum and then learn to make the art from scratch.

The factory will work with the Beijing culture and tourism bureau to develop more experience-based programs for travelers from abroad.

"We may teach them to make small items, such as bottles and daily utensils," Yi says.

The Beijing bureau recently unveiled a three-year plan for the reform and opening-up of culture and tourism.

It will push for customs rules and better tax-free shopping policies to make things easier for inbound tourists to get tax refunds.

Additionally, foreigners will be allowed to invest in entertainment facilities without restraints on the amount.

Support will also be given to cultural information, creative design and game development.

More favorable policies toward travel for meetings, conferences and exhibitions-or MICE travel-will be launched in the future to boost the number of inbound travelers in that sector, according to Cao.

To date, the Beijing bureau has not only increased efforts in major foreign markets, including the US, Japan, South Korea and Germany, but also has engaged in close cooperation with travel players in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, such as the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Malaysia and Poland.

"China has been one of the biggest outbound-tourism destinations for the Middle East," says Cashion Vettom from the Khimji's House of Travel in Oman.

His agency deals with 500,000 travelers to China every year, and 70 percent of them have Beijing in mind when booking, Vettom says.

The Beijing authority will continue to use the tourism-partnership summit to upgrade the international appeal of the municipality.

During the recent summit, Sarangi, along with her fellow attendees, explored destinations that offer immersive travel experiences in Beijing.

She visited Beijing WTown-or Gubei Watertown-in Gubeikou town in Miyun district, where she was stunned by the beautiful and precipitous Simatai Great Wall and intriguing local folk customs.

Sarangi also experienced traditional book assembly in the National Library and enjoyed Chinese acrobatics at close quarters.

The renovated steel-industry park, the Olympic-themed pavilion and Peking Opera experiences impressed her.

The programs were developed when the Beijing authorities integrated local culture and tourism resources last year.

"These places and programs can be introduced to our clients, especially those who have visited China before, but are looking for new experiences," Sarangi says.

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