Chinese lawmaker suggests pilot projects for resuming international tourism
Published: Mar 03, 2022 10:34 PM
Epidemic control staff are checking the health codes of travelers at a railway station in Shanghai on January 1, 2022. Photo: VCG

Epidemic control staff are checking the health codes of travelers at a railway station in Shanghai on January 1, 2022. Photo: VCG

Ahead of China's annual two sessions, a Chinese lawmaker called on the country to prepare pilot projects for resuming international tourism under the normalized COVID-19 prevention and control strategy in a bid to boost the economy and show the world a real China, after some Western media reports deliberately distorted facts and fabricated lies about China which exerted a serious negative influence on foreigners' understanding of China. 

The pilot projects could be set up in Hainan island in South China's Hainan Province, Chongming island in Shanghai and Zhoushan islands in East China's Zhejiang Province, after assessment of the epidemic prevention and control, and outbound tourism could first pick up some island countries and regions, the lawmaker suggested.  

As this year's two sessions are scheduled to kick off this week, Huang Xihua, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) from South China's Guangdong Province and an official from the Huizhou government in Guangdong, proposed an inter-department decision-making mechanism covering foreign affairs, culture and tourism, transportation, finance, internet and information technology, public security and other departments to guide the development of inbound tourism, and make policies to facilitate inbound tourism. 

Huang told the Global Times that some Western countries, out of prejudice and national interests, strengthened their strategic containment and suppression of China, and their media also took advantage of it to conduct negative reports on China to mislead international readers. 

But during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, many foreign athletes and delegations had a positive view of China after they visited the country. 

When some overseas media smeared the Beijing Winter Olympic Games' COVID-19 policies, claiming that they were too strict and would cause a "psychological burden" for athletes, US freestyle skier Aaron Blunck criticized American media for their irresponsible reports during a press conference in February, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"They have done a stellar job with the COVID protocols," said Blunck.

"I didn't really know what to expect being stateside. You hear some pretty bad media and that is completely false," he said.

China's State Council released the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for the Tourism Industry in January, saying the country will adjust policies related to exchanges of inbound and outbound tourists on the basis of ensuring pandemic prevention.

Huang suggested that related governments should come up with detailed measures in optimizing visa policies, entry requirements, remote payments and internet service, to prepare for resuming inbound tourism. 

The outbound tourism industry has to make changes to adapt to the normalized COVID-19 prevention and control, Huang said. 

The international community should discuss the mutual recognition of nucleic acid testing results and COVID-19 vaccine to establish an international health code system for travel, Huang said.