Statistics from the Beijing Municipal Tourism Bureau for inbound tourists staying overnight in Beijing in October 2008 show that the number of overseas tourists visiting Beijing decreased, while the number of tourists from the Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan markets increased to different degrees from the same period of last year.
This October, Beijing received a total of 398,000 inbound tourists that stayed overnight in the city, a decrease of 14.4% compared to the same period of 2007. Of these, the number of overseas tourists visiting Beijing was 353,000, a decrease of 16.5% year-on-year; 59,000 were from the USA, down by 20.1%; 39,000 from Japan, a decrease of 26.4%; and 31,000 were from South Korea, a decrease of 27.2%. Meanwhile, the number of tourists from Hong Kong was 27,000, an increase of 1.7% compared to the same period of last year; 1,000 from Macau, representing a growth rate of 210% compared to the same period in 2007; and 17,000 were from Taiwan, an increase of 7.3% compared to the same period in 2007.
For the first ten months of 2008, Beijing received a total of 3,259,000 inbound tourists staying overnight in the city, a decrease of 11.2% year-on-year. Of these, the number of overseas tourists visiting to Beijing was 2,898,000, a decrease of 10.1% year-on-year; that from the Asian market decreased by 17.6%, 5.6% for America, 5.3% for Europe, 10.5% for Oceania, and 19% for Africa. However, the average length of stay of inbound tourists visiting to Beijing was 3.9 days, 0.6 higher than the same period of last year.
In addition, all star-grade hotels in Beijing hosted a total of 1,319,000 domestic guests this October, an increase of 18.7% year-on-year. Guo Lingmei, director of marketing of BTG International Travel & Tours, told local media that due to the decreasing inbound tourists in China, the travel agency begun to turn its attention to domestic business and the MICE market. Guo said that it would be a solution for inbound business departments to attract more MICE guests from domestic companies during the current global financial crisis.