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Beijing's 'Silk Street' thrives with influx of foreign tourists under visa-free policy

China

China

China

Beijing's 'Silk Street' thrives with influx of foreign tourists under visa-free policy

2024-05-19 17:21 Last Updated At:05-20 00:00

The bustling Xiushui Business Street (Silk Street) in Beijing is experiencing a significant surge in visits paid by international tourists, thanks to the country's implementation of visa-free policy.

The business street, known for its array of shops selling a wide range of souvenirs and gifts and a vibrant shopping atmosphere, is among the top destinations for visitors from abroad.

Since earlier this year, China has implemented a visa-free policy that exempts many European ordinary passport holders from the time-consuming and costly obligation, encouraging travelers from nearly a dozen European countries to explore this Asian country. It allows ordinary passport holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia, Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg, to enter and stay in China visa-free for up to 15 days for business, tourism, transit, as well as visiting relatives and friends .

Against such a backdrop, the business street, with a spike in international tourist arrivals, has offered popular options with distinctive Beijing features to foreign visitors.

"From January to April this year, the combined number of overseas tourists we received was expected to increase by nearly 20 times from the previous year. We've selected a batch of souvenirs that can represent Beijing for our customers, so as to make each and every of them happy," said Dong Qing, an employee of the business street.

Ibeku hailing from Nigeria was on a business trip to Beijing. She came to the business street to tailor a suit of Nigerian traditional costume with Chinese silk.

"First of all, I love fashion. So if we have Chinese silk [and] Nigerian style [together], that's like a mix of cultures, and that's what we are all hoping to get this day," she said.

Taking into account the tight schedule of foreign customers, many merchants reduce the time it takes to craft bespoke garments from the traditional four to five days down to an impressive 18 hours.

Furthermore, they also provide global mailing services for international customers who express concern about limited luggage space or tight travel schedules.

According to data released by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, the capital city received 469,000 inbound tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year, up by 3.1 times year on year, and the foreign exchange income of tourism is 650 million U.S. dollars, a year-on-year growth of 225.8 percent.

Beijing's 'Silk Street' thrives with influx of foreign tourists under visa-free policy

Beijing's 'Silk Street' thrives with influx of foreign tourists under visa-free policy

Xiushui Business Street thrives with influx of foreign tourists under visa-free policy

Xiushui Business Street thrives with influx of foreign tourists under visa-free policy

Russia claimed on Wednesday that its forces attacked the ammunition depots of Ukraine, while the Ukrainian said they destroyed military equipment of Russia, according to their latest updates on the conflict.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a briefing released on Wednesday that its military gained advantageous positions in multiple areas, striking Ukrainian ammunition depots, artillery systems, and other targets.

They also intercepted rockets, aerial bombs, and drones launched by Ukraine, said the Defense Ministry.

On the same day, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian forces were engaged in combat with the Russian military in various directions, including Pokrovsk.

They launched powerful strikes against Russia, resulting in the destruction of Russian personnel and weaponry, it added.

A spokesperson from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant stated that the city of Energodar, where the nuclear power plant is situated, experienced a power outage due to the Ukrainian drone attack on a local substation, according to a report by Russia's TASS news agency on Wednesday.

But operation of the nuclear plant was not affected, said the report.

Following the drone attack, Ukrainian armed forces commenced artillery bombardment on the city, said a TASS report.

Russia strikes Ukrainian ammunition depots, Ukraine destroys Russian military equipment

Russia strikes Ukrainian ammunition depots, Ukraine destroys Russian military equipment

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