by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 03, 2013
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 global economy, 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 particulate matter rose to almost 40 times World Health Organization (WHO) limits during a heavy bout of smog in January which attracted worldwide attention.
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|