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Payments made easier for foreign visitors, expats

Updated: 2024-05-10 09:58 ( China Daily )
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Engineers from Germany and China work at an office in Audi FAW NEV Co in Changchun, Jilin province, in November. YAN LINYUN/XINHUA

Tourists' convenience

Dalian is aiming to make the stay of overseas visitors more convenient to boost inbound tourism.

Sources from Dalian's Culture and Tourism Bureau said the city's cultural and tourism stakeholders should upgrade services for overseas tourists through measures such as consultation desks at major scenic spots to make bookings and ticket purchases easier.

Travel agencies handling services have been instructed to have small change on hand, and provide guidelines on money exchanges and tutorials on online payments.

"Dalian has rich cultural and tourism resources," said Yu Jingdong, general manager of Dalian Wenyuan Travel Agency. "Many tourists from Russia, South Korea and Japan are considering it as a must-visit city in 2024, especially after it was selected as 'Culture City of East Asia'."

Yu cited the example of a South Korean tourist who was impressed by the seafood in Dalian and has visited the city with his family twice in recent months.

Another South Korean tourist, who had been suffering from a herniated disc for years, found relief after having traditional Chinese medicine therapy and acupuncture during a stay last year. "Now, he visits Dalian every quarter for treatment and traditional Chinese medicine recuperation," Yu said.

Earlier this year, Dalian's Culture and Tourism Bureau, in collaboration with tourism businesses and bodies, developed a 2024 implementation plan to strengthen inbound tourism by making travel more convenient for visitors.

The plan targets four major travel groups — Japanese, Korean, Russian, and English-speaking tourists.

It emphasizes that foreign tourists as well as compatriots visiting from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan should enjoy the same services as locals at scenic spots, shopping malls, libraries, museums, art galleries and other public places.

The ease of booking tickets for scenic areas and transportation, as well as registering hotel accommodation with valid documents should also be improved.

The plan also recommended strengthening English-language training for tour guides and service personnel at scenic spots, hotels, and other facilities, as well as improving English signage and tour facilities at scenic areas, airports, stations, hotels and shopping malls.

Overseas bookings, payment settlement, network communication, medical assistance, and language signage should all be stepped up to boost international tourism, it said.

Wang Wenyong, deputy head of Dalian's Culture and Tourism Bureau, said service provision and targeted products are fundamental aspects of inbound tourism.

"We will introduce thoughtful services and products tailored to the consumption habits of different source markets, and pay special attention to people services and product optimization … including (payment) settlement, currency exchange, communication and more," he said.

Before the May Day holiday promotional brochures and tourism maps in five languages — Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and Russian — were placed in star-rated hotels, cultural venues, major scenic spots, and other important cultural and tourism locations, Wang said.

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