Beijing city resumes inter-provincial group tours
Published: Dec 13, 2022 09:34 PM Updated: Dec 13, 2022 09:29 PM
Tourists visit the Forbidden City in Beijing on December 13, 2022. Photo: VCG

Tourists visit the Forbidden City in Beijing on December 13, 2022. Photo: VCG

Beijing city distributed a notice allowing travel agencies to organize group trips to and from the city following China's optimized COVID-19 response last week. Experts said the move was taken to assist the resumption of cross-provincial group travel tours.

Travel agencies and online travel platforms are allowed to resume cross-provincial group tours in and out of Beijing and operate packaged services for ticket purchasing and hotel reservations, effective from Tuesday, according to the notice issued by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism on Tuesday.

Within one hour after the announcement, searches for "Beijing travel" surged 31 percent compared with the same time yesterday, according to Tongcheng Travel. Tourists from North China's Hebei Province, Northeast China's Jilin Province and East China's Shandong Province are most interested in tourism information concerning Beijing.

According to the notice, travel agencies ought to check the temperatures of tourists, guides, drivers and other members of the tour group before departure, and those with abnormal temperatures are not allowed to join the tour.

Tour guides must be vaccinated, have their health code checked before they depart and should wear masks, while tourists are suggested to wear masks at all times while riding in cars and other means of transportation, the notice said.

The culture and tourism regulator in Beijing also told travel agencies that organize group tours to register their travel itineraries with the regulator on a case-by-case basis, and it vowed to crack down on illegal business activities so as to promote a safe, steady and orderly resumption of tourism business in the capital.

With the easing on travel in Beijing, other cities are expected to follow suit, Xu Xiaolei, marketing manager at China's CYTS Tours Holding Co, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"It is expected that there will be a 'small peak' of travel during the Spring Festival and the full resumption of tourism is expected by the National Day holiday in October next year," Xu said.

Xu said that China's CYTS Tours Holding Co is making a lot of preparations for the New Year's Day and the Spring Festival holidays, putting relevant products on offer and planning new marketing campaigns.

Inquiries for travel products and services have surged as China moves to relax coronavirus curbs with the 10-point new measures announced last week.

According to travel agency Ctrip, people are optimistic about next year's travel. Searches "travelling for 2023" in the week ended on December 7 surged by more than 900 percent compared with the same period last year.

Within two hours after the release of the New Year's Day holiday plans, Ctrip's searches for air tickets and hotels increased six times and seven times, respectively.

Global Times