XIAMEN (Sputnik) – The ninth BRICS Summit in the coastal city of Xiamen is a good opportunity for China to brand itself as a tourist destination, CEO of the world's second largest online travel agency by market cap Ctrip and delegate to the BRICS Business forum Jane Sun told Sputnik on Sunday.
"We have a good infrastructure in China, and a diverse culture. So it's an interesting place to visit. But China needs to do a better job to brand itself. Hosting a BRICS summit is one of those means," Sun said.
The summit is being held on September 3-5 in a new so-called BRICS Plus format, with leaders of such non-BRICS countries as Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, Guinea and Tajikistan. The city of Xiamen, located in the southeast of China, is itself a popular tourist attraction, with its scenery and cultural and historical heritage.
"China needs to do a lot. Multilateral visa restrictions need to be eased — for example, those from Europe to China. Now it's hard, because Europeans only give a 10-days visa [for the Chinese visitors]. Same thing for Europeans who want to come to China, it's 10 days. So it's equally difficult, it's a lose-lose situation. On both sides we need to do a lot," Sun explained.
According to Sun, Russian and Indian tourists are the most promising for China at the moment.
China's revenue from international tourism is reportedly expected to reach $126 billion in 2017. Cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an and Guilin are among the top destinations for tourists in China.