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Cities in China form an alliance to stimulate inbound travel

Nineteen famous destinations team up with major travel agencies early this week with the aim to spur inbound tourism in China.

BEIJING – China National Tourism Administration announced in a report recently that during the third quarter of 2013, the number of overseas tourists visiting China declined by 4% while Chinese tourists travelling abroad increased by contrary by a remarkable 35%.

Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, explained that the performance of inbound tourism has been below expectations over the past few years due mainly to the appreciation of the Chinese currency, a weak global economy as well as conservative  visa policies. “Flight conditions within China also seem to deter potential visitors” he added.

Under this circumstance, 19 destinations including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Xi’an, Nanjing, Kunming, Chengdu, Harbin, Guilin and several provinces formed an alliance on Tuesday to look at ways to turn around the  inbound travel market. Along with major travel agencies, the members will work together to analyze the existing situation and trends in inbound travel, to find out solutions such as designing more innovative tour packages for foreign tourists, and to implement them through cooperation.

Han Yufeng, a spokesperson from China International Travel Service Co., suggested that  travel agencies should come up with unified standards of service. “Some agencies with poor customer service have made a bad impression on visitors who will hardly  come back again, let alone recommend our destinations to others” he said.

According to Han, the government also needs to further invest in the promotion of the country in a consistent manner to fit with international demand.

In response, Yu Debin, deputy director of Beijing Tourism Development Committee, Explained that Beijing local government is considering to provide financial incentives to local tourism agencies as well as expand their investment in promoting the city. The city will also encourage more in depth research to enhance and monitor the effectiveness of their activities.

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