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Bank of Beijing launches tourism loan

Updated: 2013-10-16 15:40
By Wang Wen (

Bank of Beijing Consumer Finance Company (BOBCFC), a subsidiary of Bank of Beijing, launched a tourism loan initiative on Tuesday with Utour International Travel Service, one of the main outbound travel agencies in China, on Tuesday.

It is the first time the travel agency has delved into the tourism loan sector and tourists aged between 18 to 60 can apply for loans at Utour's stores, instead of at the bank.

Successful applicants could have the loan approved, with money in hand, in one hour, said Jin Lixin, deputy general manager of the BOBCFC's production and channel developing department.

"It is much quicker than other banks' tourism loans," he said.

The upper limit of the loan is usually 10,000 yuan ($1,600) and there will be no interest or commission.

The rapidly growing tourism market in China, especially outbound tourism, is the main reason for the finance company's initiative.

"We are optimistic about the tourism market, as traveling is becoming an important part of people's lives," said Yan Xiaoyan, president of BOBCFC.

China is the global leader in the number of outbound tourists and the number is expected to break 100 million trips this year, according to the China Tourism Academy.

But the huge tourism market does not necessarily mean a large market for tourism loans, some experts said.

Culture is the first challenge regarding taking out loans, said Zhao Xijun, deputy dean of Renmin University of China's school of finance.

Thrift is a virtue in China and people are often reluctant to seek loans, Zhao said.

Although the younger generation readily accept buying on credit, this may not extend to tourism which is deemed a nonessential, he added.

"Banks still need to pay more attention to promoting tourism loans and it may be some time before the market develops," Zhao said.