Beijing to further open outbound travel market
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The business scopes of foreign-owned travel agencies in Beijing are expected to be expanded as the city takes an effort to open its outbound tourism market to foreign investment, Beijing Business Today reported on Nov. 12.


(File Photo: VCG)

The municipal tourism authorities are waiting for the approval from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on the plan to allow the city’s wholly foreign-owned travel companies to carry out outbound travel business.

The opening-up measures conform to the development trend of the industry, despite possible impacts on domestic travel agencies, said Shi Jianzhong, secretary-general of Beijing Tourism Industry Association (BTIA).

If passed, the plan will allow foreign travel agencies to go through necessary procedures online, thanks to the city’s efforts to streamline administrative approvals.

Outbound travel is the most lucrative market in China’s tourism industry. Industry insiders believe that allowing foreign-owned travel companies to undertake outbound business may entail fiercer competition between domestic travel companies and their foreign counterparts.

China is the world’s largest source of outbound tourists. In 2017, Chinese citizens made 130 million times of outbound travel, spending $ 258 billion overseas, according to statistics by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Shanghai was the first city in the country to allow foreign-owned travel agencies to carry out outbound travel business. Last year, Wan Cheng Shanghai Travel Agency Co. became the first wholly foreign-owned travel agency to settle in Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Many analysts hold that it is not easy for foreign-owned travel agencies to outperform some best domestic travel service providers in outbound travel market, without strong and long-term efforts, as well as a good knowledge of the characteristics of the Chinese market.