Pollution blamed for drop in Beijing tourism

August 3, 2013
Two tourists wear face masks as they visit Tiananmen Square on a heavily polluted day in Beijing on May 8, 2013. The number of tourists visiting Beijing fell by more than 14% in the first half of this year compared to 2012, with air pollution blamed for the decline.

The number of tourists visiting China's capital fell by more than 14 percent in the first half of this year compared to 2012, state media reported Saturday, with air pollution blamed for the decline.

The total number of tourists arriving in Beijing during the first half of 2013 dropped 14.3 percent compared to the same period last year, the state-run China Daily reported, citing official statistics.

It is the first time China's capital has seen a decline in inbound tourists over the first six months of a year since 2008, the report said, adding that the total number of tourist visits during the period was 2.14 million.

"Frequent air pollution" contributed to the decline in tourists, along with a weak , the paper quoted Lu Yong, the director of the Beijing Commission of Tourism Development, as saying.

The decline came despite a new policy allowing travellers from 45 countries to stop in Beijing for 72 hours visa-free, which was introduced in January.

Beijing regularly sees hazardous air pollution, and levels of rose to almost 40 times World Health Organization (WHO) limits during a heavy bout of smog in January which attracted worldwide attention.

Explore further: Beijing vows efforts to fight pollution

Related Stories

Beijing vows efforts to fight pollution

January 22, 2013

China's capital Beijing will strengthen measures to combat pollution, state media reported Tuesday, amid public anger over the dangerous air quality in the sprawling metropolis.

'Off the scale' smog envelops Beijing again

January 29, 2013

Residents across northern China battled through choking pollution on Tuesday, as air quality levels rose above index limits in Beijing amid warnings that the smog may not clear until Thursday.

China to more than double air monitoring network

March 15, 2013

China will more than double the number of cities covered by air quality monitoring, a top environment official said Friday, as part of efforts to tackle heavy smog that has sparked huge public anger.

Recommended for you

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.