Beijing Tourism Drops on Air Pollution, Yuan, China Daily Says

The number of tourists visiting Beijing fell last year because of the city’s air pollution, a stronger yuan and weakness in the global economy, China Daily reported, citing an official study.

The Chinese capital drew 4.2 million visitors from January to November, down 10.3 percent from a year earlier, the newspaper said, citing a report from the Beijing Tourism Development Commission. Only 14,000 transit passengers took advantage of a 72-hour visa waiver, fewer than a forecast 20,000, China Daily said, citing Wang Yue, deputy director of the commission, and the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection.

The city government plans to spend an additional 1.25 billion yuan ($207 million) to tackle air pollution this year, the Beijing News said today, without citing anyone. The level of PM2.5, fine-air particulates that pose the greatest health risk, was as much as 112 micrograms per cubic meter in western Beijing today, according to data from the China National Environmental Monitoring Center.

The World Health Organization recommends 24-hour PM2.5 exposure of no more than 25. Readings in major Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, frequently exceed that level. The level of PM2.5 in central Shanghai today was 44.

— With assistance by Michael Wei

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