As China continues its upward recovery trajectory, many travel attractions, sites and businesses in Beijing have come back to life as the Chinese capital steps up its preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Beijing tourism executives were especially keen to highlight new market ideas and opportunities moving into 2021, during a recent forum organised by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, which gathered over 30 industry local and international industry players.
"We want to develop confidence within the global travel industry by showing how Beijing and China are successfully leading the recovery of tourism," says Wei Pang, deputy director general, Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau, Department of Foreign Exchanges and Cooperation.
Notably, Chen Dong, director general of Beijing Tourism, highlights how key developments and events are pushing ahead as planned for Beijing this year.
These include the launch of a major theme park and Universal Studios Beijing in May 2021, as well as continuing major business events such as Design China Beijing 2020, which took place from September 23 to 26 as one of the first shows to receive physical attendees in a post-Covid world.
In addition, of the capital’s 238 scenic spots, 193 have resumed part of their businesses. On the hospitality front, 70% of 343 hotels in Beijing have too resumed operations.
Another massive project that will continue to place the Chinese capital on international travel radar is the 2022 Winter Olympics. Multiple venues from the 2008 Summer Olympics will be reused, such as the National Aquatic Stadium and Beijing Olympic Green.
Of mention is how after the 2008 Games, Beijing Olympic Green in its new face as a tourist spot received over two million visitors yearly – translating to US$25 million in ticketing receipts. This has spurred the Games committee to add tourism infrastructure to the new developments built for 2022.
At the National Alpine Skating Centre for instance, post-Games additions include several cable car lines and a tourist centre at the top of the mountain. There’s also the Beijing-Chongli expressway, which was completed earlier this year in January. The route is not only a dedicated lane for the Olympics, but is also the only way to Zhangjiakou, a skiing district.
On the tour operating front, inbound travel operators have responded with unique, new ideas.
Zhang Xiaolin, managing director at Asian Trails China, which recently obtained the Travelife certificate, spoke about the DMC's stronger focus sustainable travel – all about mingling with the local community and going off-the-beaten-track.
“These measures are relevant for [today’s pandemic] and gives a guarantee of safe travel. In Beijing for instance we’ve been promoting an ecological lodge in the countryside, located by the Great Wall. They deliver great service and serve organic food to our guests [travelling in] small leisure groups who stay one night here,” said Zhang.