Foreign Visitors Laud Positive Travel Experiences in China

by Alice

China’s efforts to bolster its tourism image globally are bearing fruit, as foreign visitors increasingly share positive travel experiences online, dispelling unfair stereotypes about the country.

Two Mad Explorers, an Irish video blog channel boasting over 160,000 subscribers on YouTube, recently documented the journey of two European travelers in China, commencing their exploration in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. They lauded Chengdu as “clean, beautiful, very modern, and an affordable place to visit.”


Meanwhile, visitors from Italy, Sydia and Mica, shared their adventures with Douyin blogger Broke Laowai, boasting over 600 followers. Their travels spanned Beijing, Pingyao in Shanxi province, and Xi’an in Shaanxi province. Sydia praised the kindness and thoughtfulness of the Chinese people, noting their willingness to assist foreigners despite language barriers.


The Italian visitors also commended mobile applications like Alipay and WeChat for their convenience in ordering coffee, hailing rides, and making payments.


China’s inbound tourism received a significant boost following the implementation of visa-waiver policies for residents of select European and Asian countries and regions in late 2023. Visa-free entry for ordinary passport holders from six countries, including France, Germany, and Italy, was introduced, with the policy later expanded to encompass an additional six nations.

According to data from the National Immigration Administration, visa issuance to international travelers surged by nearly 120 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, with mainland visits by visa-exempt foreign nationals soaring by 266 percent.

The May Day holiday witnessed a continuation of this inbound tourism surge, with approximately 1.76 million inbound trips recorded over the five-day break, as reported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Travel portal Group noted a 130 percent year-on-year increase in inbound travel bookings during the holiday period.

Zhang Jinshan, a tourism planning and development researcher at Beijing Union University, emphasized that China’s visa policy enhancements have been instrumental in driving inbound tourism growth. He highlighted the importance of China’s visa “openness and accessibility.”

Zhao Jing, director of customized tours at travel portal Tuniu, emphasized that the optimized entry policies provide international travelers with ample time to plan their trips, thereby bolstering confidence in exploring China.

Looking ahead, experts suggest that China should further expand its visa-free policy to neighboring countries and those participating in the Belt and Road Initiative to capture a larger share of inbound tourism. Additionally, continued improvements in payment systems, network infrastructure, and accommodations services will contribute to the stable and sustainable development of China’s inbound tourism sector.



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