Beijing is issuing $7 million e-vouchers to boost the cultural sector reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown. The vouchers can be used to buy items and tickets within the tourism, education, sports, leisure and entertainment industries.
These vouchers are worth about seven million USD in a program has been going since 2017. However, this year it is designed to encourage local spending in the cultural and commercial sectors as they re-open following the coronavirus lockdown, according to CGTN.
Boost to cultural sector post pandemic lockdown
Local residents in Beijing and tourists will be able to access these vouchers through the ‘Beijing Culture Easy Card’ official account on WeChat. They can then get a cash rebate when they make a purchase at offline shops.
The program has been expanded this year to include more online cultural products and services. Digital audio-visual products, online reading and online learning are all included this year.
Those who get these vouchers will also be able to buy books, tickets to art performances, and tickets to sports matches. Some of Beijing’s largest bookshops, the Wangfujing Bookstore, the Sanlian Bookstore and the Beijing Book Building are all part of the program.
Domestic tourism recovery
The Chinese government released guidelines in early March to help boost domestic consumption after the economic effect of coronavirus. Several cities in China such as Zhengzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing have also started to roll out online voucher programs.
Bloomberg has released data that shows that around 50 cities have issued vouchers like Beijing, and they have an immediate effect in boosting spending in some locations.
For example, in Hangzhou, these vouchers led to more than 1.8 billion yuan in consumption. This was more than 12 times the government’s subsidy.
China recently saw a boost in domestic tourism over the May Day holiday. As attractions around the country start to reopen, more than 23 million domestic trips were made in China. In Beijing, tourist attractions had seen 720,000 tourists by 2 pm on Friday 1 May.