Beijing Tourist Sites Scrap Reservation System

By Yinmai O'Connor, June 25, 2024

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In order to help revive the tourism industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic, Beijing has put the reservation system the city implemented for many of its major tourist attractions on hold for the summer travel season.

Beijing began requiring individuals and tourist groups to make reservations in advance to the city’s main cultural sites such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square back in 2021. This move was made to control congestion and further constraints were put in place to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism announced on Thursday that aside from a few exceptions including the Forbidden City and the National Museum, visitors will no longer need to make these pesky reservations.

Foreigners found the reservation system especially frustrating due to the need to pre-book using Chinese language apps, which also often required users to have WeChat accounts. 

They said the decision was made to “further improve the basic services of the city’s tourism areas." Similar announcements have been made in cities across the country to simplify things for both domestic and international tourists planning their summer holidays. 

The bureau’s announcement also encouraged tourist destinations to improve the experience of their visitors by providing more restrooms, shaded areas and wheelchair access. 

As tourism continues to rebound following the lifting of other global travel restrictions, this latest move by the Chinese government is a welcome change for locals and visitors alike!

[Cover image by Yinmai O'Connor]

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