Talking Travel: Your roundup of Beijing’s latest transportation-related news.
Beijing ranked among top cities for tourism
From ’80s hits to anime betrayals, everyone loves it when their favorite thing lands a spot on a top 10 list. Our fair capital did just that last week, when the World Tourism Cities Federation awarded Beijing a place in the top 10 best cities for global tourism at a summit co-hosted by the city of Helsinki.
Shanghai and Hong Kong also made the list at the summit, with discussions primarily centering around the rise of so-called “smart tourism,” or the use of technology to provide tourists a better experience. Other cities in the top 10 included New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Dubai, Seoul, and Barcelona.
The ranking comes just a month after education consultancy firm QS ranked Beijing and Shanghai among the top 40 cities in the world to study. Beijing ranked 32nd on the list, just ahead of Shanghai at 33rd.
Beijing is the number three most popular destination in China for tourists, with steady growth in arrivals every year since 2008.
Shanghai Disneyland to allow outside food
Pack your bags with lots of snacks, we’re going to Disneyland!
Amusement parks are notorious for luring in guests with promises of a good time, only to gouge their wallets with overpriced, unsatisfying food. Finally, a hungry student has stood up to Mickey and his team of anthropomorphic hustlers to say, “No more!” The student sued Disneyland for the right to bring one’s own food into the park and won.
With a reluctant hand pried open by the fingers of the law, Disneyland Shanghai announced that they will allow visitors to bring food into the park as long as it is not in reheatable containers and doesn’t require preparation. Another important restriction (which we are fully on board with) is that pungent food such as durian is not allowed.
Line 7 extension begins operation
If Disneyland isn’t your thing, maybe the upcoming Universal Studios, opening in 2021, is more up your alley. Well, it is soon to be just up the subway line anyway, as Line 7 finalizes its extension out East with its final stop landing riders directly at the Universal Resort. Batong line, which runs parallel to Line 7, is also extending its route by two stations, ending at the resort.
Both line extensions began trial operations earlier this week and will be fully integrated with the main lines by the end of the year.
Eagle-eye parking enforcement
Baidu Street View vehicles with their comical ostrich necks extending from the top aren’t the only cars snapping pics of streets of Beijing. The city is now enabling enforcement vehicles to handle was heretofore thought unenforceable: parking regulations.
The cars are equipped with a camera that provides an “eagle-eye,” snapping photos automatically when it recognizes a parking violation. Beijing Evening News reports that system is already being used in Chaoyang and Fengtai districts, the Xizhimen area, and on the Airport Expressway. Capital Airport and the new Daxing Airport can also expect to be key areas of focus, while some self-governing areas, including the city’s hutongs, are not included in the enforcement routes.