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Foreigners' tours in China to be more convenient: minister

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-12 12:14
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A foreign visitor had her photo taken while touring Beijing's Jingshan Park, Feb 21, 2024.[Photo/Xinhua]

"Welcome to China!" China's tourism minister Sun Yeli said in English on Monday as he expounded on measures to make foreigners' tours in China more convenient and smooth.

Sun, minister of culture and tourism, highlighted the payment difficulties encountered by inbound tourists as they find it inconvenient to travel in the country where cashless payment via smartphones has dominated commercial venues ranging from hotels to grocery stores.

"This is indeed an unexpected, new problem as mobile payment develops very rapidly in China," Sun told domestic and foreign journalists after the close of China's annual national legislative session in Beijing.

He said the central authorities paid great attention to this issue and have established a coordination mechanism to solve it.

Detailed measures are being implemented, such as re-installing and upgrading point-of-sale devices, to make sure that when foreign tourists travel in China, they will be able to use bank cards in diverse venues, such as hotels, airports, tourist attractions and shopping areas. They can also choose to scan QR code or use cash to make payment, Sun said.

Domestic payment platforms and enterprises have worked together to simplify the process by which inbound foreign tourists register for China's payment applications, and all sites of consumption are mandatory for accepting the Chinese currency in cash, Sun said.

"We are optimizing each step of the inbound tourism process, streamlining procedures ranging from visa applications to flight arrangements, hotel check-ins, shopping and sightseeing," he said.

"With the implementation of these measures, foreign tourists visiting China will enjoy the same level of convenience in accommodation, transportation and shopping as domestic tourists," the minister said.

"We sincerely welcome tourists from all over the world to visit China, enjoy the charm of Chinese culture, discover rapid changes of the country, and experience hospitality of the Chinese people," Sun said.

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