The China Daily reports that tourism in Beijing has dropped some 14 per cent in the first half of 2013, and blames “frequent air pollution” for the disappointing stats. Something about “air as bad as an airport smoke lounge” doesn’t pull in hordes of visitors.
The statistics are especially disheartening considering Beijing’s changed visa laws, which officials really thought would make tourists ignore the whole “deadly air” thing, as World News Australia reports:
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 the total number of tourist visits during the period was 2.14 million. […]
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.