Travel incentives and cash awards to be offered to Travel Agents booking significant numbers of British tourists to BeijingThe Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism has announced a programme of incentive schemes for travel agents sending significant numbers of tourists to the city. The awards are for travel agents booking 1,000 visitors to Beijing and include free travel and accommodation packages for the top operators. In particular the BMBT will introduce an annual award for the two travel agents with the highest figures overall in the year, providing cash incentives of up to 100,000 RMB (about £6,500) and travel to Beijing for key staff in the organisation.
The move comes as Beijing launches its pan-European marketing initiative to attract large numbers of visitors to the city, leading up to the Olympic Games in 2008. The announcement was made at a glittering event in London in front of a high profile audience of travel trade, media, politicians and business leaders. The event was a mixture of presentation and performance to highlight the many facets of Beijing, both ancient and modern, including a performance by the world-renowned Beijing Opera and a Flowing Forbidden City Show which reflected the architecture, art and colours of the palaces in fashion and fabric. Held in the Grand Ballroom of the London Hilton, the “Bringing Beijing to Britain” tourism reception was the first time Beijing had presented itself to the UK in such spectacular fashion.
Speaking at the reception, Director General Yu, Director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism, gave details of the incentives, saying: “Beijing and London are two of the world’s greatest cities and it gives me great pleasure to share our culture in this way. Our incentive programme is the first of many marketing initiatives which will help to encourage the UK travel trade to include Beijing in their programmes in the coming years.”
The incentives will offer travel packages, including flights, accommodation and tours, to travel agents bringing in more than 1,000 visitors to Beijing. In addition the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism is offering a cash and travel award for the top two travel agents over the coming year.
For individual travel agents who organise for 1,000 British people to go on tours to Beijing in one year, the BMBT will invite them on a Beijing sightseeing tour for 4 nights and 5 days, paying for the return flights, accommodation and transportation. In addition an award is to be set up for those making an outstanding contribution to Beijing’s tourism industry. For the top two travel agents in terms of tourist visitors to Beijing, the BMBT will award RMB 100 thousand (about £6,500) to each agent and will invite related staff on free Beijing tours.
Director Yu commented: “In the future, I sincerely hope that we can join hands together and strengthen our cooperation in order to foster good relations and further exchanges between our two countries.”
With the numbers of tourists to Beijing increasing annually, and six world heritage sites in its vicinity - more than any other major city in the world - Beijing is opening its famous elaborately decorated doors to the world and is now poised to become the premier tourist destination in Asia. Attractions include the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace and the cultural highlights include the world-famous and spectacular Beijing Opera. Shopping and eating in Beijing are also highly enjoyable experiences and the city has many more highlights to delight the visitor. Beijing will host the Olympic Games in 2008 and is encouraging a major influx of visitors before and during the Games.
China and Britain have recently signed an “approved destination status” agreement which will allow Chinese tourists to visit the UK and will encourage further growth in traffic in both directions. Up until the agreement only students and business travellers from China have been able to visit the UK - around 100,000 per year.
Britain is one of the top ten source countries for visitors to China, with over 400,000 visitors in 2004 - a growth of over 20% from 2003 and over 45% on the year before.