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Beijing increasingly popular with overseas tourists

The latest statistics show that 297,000 overseas tourists visited the Chinese capital Beijing in the first…

The latest statistics show that 297,000 overseas tourists visited the Chinese capital Beijing in the first two months of this year, a rise of 12.3 percent on a yearly basis.

Of the total number, 239,000 were foreigners, making an annual increase of 14.5 percent, according to the Beijing Municipal Statistics Bureau.

To attract more visitors, Beijing has worked hard to explore the tourism market at home and abroad, to develop new tourism products, improve the tourism environment as well as the quality of service.

Last year, the city hosted 2.85 million overseas visitors, earning 2.05 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchange for the city. The city also received 110 million domestic tourists the same year, bringing an income of 88.77 billion yuan (10.69 billion U.S. dollars). The last two figures represent increases of 8 percent and 29 percent respectively.

The number of hotels designated to receive tourists was 554 by the end of 2001. There were 490 travel agencies, 139 shops, 204 restaurants and 310 scenic spots.

Beijing has so far approved three joint travel agencies and one solely foreign-funded travel agency. The China<.> International Travel Corporation and the American Express Co. have signed a letter of intent to set up a joint travel agency.

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