April 2013 E-Newsletter

News from China National Tourist Office

Message from CNTO

Travel to China from the U.S. continues to grow, now more than ever, and the Chinese government is working to keep up with this inbound market. According to a recent document released by the Chinese government, major plans are being considered to improve China’s tourism infrastructure, including the building, expansion and update of hotels, attractions, highways, and airports. With these improvements in mind – and the number of U.S. travelers to China continuing to increase – now is the perfect time for American travel agents and tour operators to sell the destination. We hope you will consider or continue to promote travel from the U.S. to China.

 

Beautiful China

China National Tourist Office, New York
370 Lexington Ave. #912
New York, NY 10017
Email: ny@cnto.org


Director Yaping Xue

 


Contents

Message from CNTO

CNTO Study on Tourism to China

China Travel News

Upcoming Events and Festivals

Partner Travel Supplier News

New Tourism Developments

Culture Corner


CNTO Study on Tourism to China

As we’ve noted in past newsletters, the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), through PhoCusWright, fielded a survey of 30,513 individuals, targeting U.S. adults who have traveled to Asia in the past two years or who are likely to travel again in the next two years. As promised, we will continue to share the results of this survey over the course of this year. This month we would like to share the study on the household expenditures between travelers to Asia and other destinations.

China Tourism Statistics

Interpretation: Household expenditures were fairly similar between travelers to Asia and those to other regions. For groups to Asia, spend on travel components (e.g., airline tickets, hotel/lodging, car rental, cruises, railways) was slightly below US$5,000 per household, with spend on local activities including dining, shopping, and local tours, among others, topping $1,500.


China Travel News

Beautiful ChinaChina Announces Plan to Boost Travel
As mentioned above, the General Office of the State Council of China recently announced a series of initiatives aimed at improving China’s travel and tourism infrastructure. These improvements, including the building, expansion and update of hotels, attractions, highways, and airports, are planned not only to make inbound travel easier for tourists visiting China, but also in hopes that these improvements will enhance the nation’s economy and its people’s quality of life. To read more about the planned improvements or the full report, click here.

HainanTwo Chinese Properties Make List of “Top Beach Resorts in the South China Sea”
A recent article in CNN Travel highlights two luxury resorts in China, both of which are located in Hainan. Hainan is China’s largest island and the country’s southernmost province; it is also home to the Sheraton Sanya Resort and the Ritz-Carlton, Sanya. On Hainan, which is often referred to as “China’s Hawaii,” white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and luxury resorts abound. The article cites Sheraton Sanya Resort‘s 300 meters of private beach, five swimming pools, and the property’s seven bars and restaurants. The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya was attributed for its two golf courses along Yalong Bay, as well as the extensive kids programs for family travelers.

ShanghaiThe New York Times Features Three Chinese Destinations for Budget Travelers
The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler blog recently featured several posts on China, including among them items on budget-friendly travel through Shanghai, an eight-dollar “tasting menu” attained in Hubu Alley in Wuhan, and an insider’s tour of Chongqing. Read more about these varied experiences in China here, here, and here.


Upcoming Events and Festivals in China

GBTAGlobal Business Travel Association (GBTA) China Conference 2013
GBTA, one of the world’s largest business travel and corporate meetings organizations, will hold their first regional conference in China from April 15-17 at the Jin Jiang Tower in Shanghai. This event will bring together key industry leaders, corporate travel executives and press for these groups to interact and exchange best practices. For more information on this conference, go to http://www.gbta.org/AsiaPacific/ChinaConference/Pages/default.aspx.

FIlm Festival3rd Annual Beijing International Film Festival
The Third Annual Beijing International Film Festival will be held this year from April 16-23, with an opening ceremony at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park, a film market and film carnival, and – for the first time ever – a Temple of Heaven awards competition. Last year’s festival brought in approximately 4,000 filmmakers and film professionals, 640 exhibitors, summit forums, and award-winning director James Cameron. This year’s festival looks to be just as exciting as it continues to be an important showcase for world films.

NBANBA’s Lakers and Warriors to Play Preseason Games in China
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors will play a pair of preseason games this October, with one at the MasterCard Center in Beijing on October 15 and one at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on October 18. These Pacific Division rivals will be a part of the NBA’s international tour, and will provide travelers and basketball fans interested in experiencing China a taste of home in an exciting new venue.


Partner Travel Supplier News

Four Seasons Exclusive Packages for Visa-Free Travel in Beijing
With China’s new policy allowing travelers from the U.S. and Canada to stay in Beijing for 72 hours without a visa, now is an ideal time for North Americans to take advantage of convenient travel into this incredible city. The Four Seasons recognizes this and is making the most of the new policy by offering customizable “Experience the Best of Beijing in 72 Hours” packages. Options include exclusive experiences such as private cooking classes, traditional Chinese medicine consultations, and private access to inner areas of the Forbidden City. To learn more about these packages or to book travel, go to www.fourseasons.com/beijing.

China AirAir China Continuing to Increase Flights to/from U.S. and Canada
Air China’s “Smiling China” aircraft recently touched down at Kennedy Airport, kicking off an expansion of the airline’s Beijing-New York route. Starting April 11, 2013, this busy route between China and the U.S. increased from seven times a week to 11 times a week, and upgraded the planes used on the route to Boeing 777s, a popular airliner for business travel. The increased flights from New York joined Air China’s other routes between China and North America, including Beijing to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. Getting to China will be even easier starting July 11, 2013, when the first Beijing to Houston flights will begin on Air China. Route information is available at http://www.airchina.us/en/index.html.

Century CruisesCentury Cruises’ Upscale Ship “Paragon” Launches on Yangtze River
The European-designed and -built Century Paragon, a 398-passenger river cruise ship, launched on the Yangtze River recently, kicking off Century Cruises’ goal to bring upscale river cruising – akin to the high-end river cruises of Europe – to China. Coupled with its sister ship, the Century Legend (which is scheduled to launch in May 2013), the Century Paragon has been designed for a smooth, no-vibration sailing experience, along with elevated amenities and service. The two brand-new vessels offer river-view staterooms and executive suites; larger public areas including an indoor swimming pool and cinema; as well as a spa, sun decks, restaurants and bars. Chinese flourishes were incorporated through décor, cuisine and, of course, two karaoke rooms.


New Tourism Developments

W GuangzhouW Guangzhou Marks First W Hotel in Mainland China
W Hotels Worldwide introduced its first hotel to mainland China with the opening of the W Guangzhou on the ancient Pearl River. Situated in the city’s Pearl River New Town District, a center for Fortune 500 companies as well as some of China’s oldest history, the W Guangzhou brings modern luxury to this bustling city. The modern architecture, which is highlighted with a sleek black-glass exterior, a huge lights-and-water wall in the entrance and cutting-edge interiors, emphasizes Guangzhou’s growth in the 21st century. For more information on the W Guangzhou or to book rooms, visit www.whotels.com/guangzhou.

RitzRitz-Carlton, Tianjin Opening Mid-Year 2013
Tianjin has a British heritage but is also a quickly growing economic hub in China. Located on the Haihe River, this recently revitalized region is the world’s fourth-largest container port and China’s largest artificial deep-water port. The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin is located in the heart of the city and is scheduled to open mid-year. The 277 rooms, 53 suites, bar, lobby lounge, restaurant, and wine cellar will round out the spectacular Ritz-Carlton high-end experience. Previews of the property can be seen at http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Tianjin/Default.htm.

Marine MuseumChina’s First National Marine Museum to Debut in Tianjin
In addition to the Ritz Carlton, Tianjin that is scheduled to open later this year, Tianjin will expand its attractions via China’s first-ever National Marine Museum. Construction in the Tianjin Binhai Tourism Area is slated to begin toward the end of 2013 after design of the marine center is finalized. The museum will house precious marine items as well as serve as a base for research, education and tourism in China.


Culture Corner

Culture CornerPing Yao Ancient City is an excellent example of the preservation of a classic Han Chinese city. Largely built in the 14th century and continuing to develop and thrive through the years, Ping Yao city still houses approximately 4,000 Ming- and Qing-style residences and there are more than 300 ancient ruins sites throughout Ping Yao. Within the city, there are also many buildings associated with banking, as Ping Yao was the major financial center of China in the 19th and early 20th centuries. With these historic relics in culture, economy and religion from so many important periods in China’s history, Ping Yao was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997.


Copyright 2013 China National Tourist Office
370 Lexington Ave. #912 – New York, NY 10017