Beijing’s tourism industry has made steady progress in the first half of the year despite the gloomy backdrop of the worldwide economic downturn and the H1N1 flu, the Beijing Tourism Administration said in a press conference on Tuesday, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
In the first half of the year, the total number of tourists visiting Beijing reached 85.4 million, up 20.8% compared to the same period in 2008. Total revenue from tourism was 127.1 billion yuan ($18.6 billion), a 14.6% increase compared to the same period last year, Zhang Huiguang, the director of the Tourism Administration said.
About 83.6 million tourists visited Beijing in the first half of this year, bringing in 113.7 billion yuan ($16.6 billion), making them a major part of Beijing’s tourism revenue.
However, spending by the just under two million foreign tourists who visited Beijing in the last six months declined to 13.4 billion yuan ($2 billion), according to Zhang. But she gave no figures for 2008.
As a result, Zhang said, "In the next half of year, our strategy is to compensate for the loss from foreign visitors by raising travel from the domestic market and neighboring regions."
Still, she also said that “the foreign market is getting warm due to some innovative promotion activities we’ve taken.”
We’ve done many tourism promotions with the theme “highlights at 2008 Beijing Olympics” at various famous international sport games in countries like the US, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Japan and South Korea,” she said.
“These promotions seem effective,” she concluded, noting that about 364,000 foreign tourists visited in May, and roughly 325,000 tourists came in June, increases of 5.1% and 8.8% compared to the same period last year.