August 2013 E-Newsletter

News from China National Tourist Office

Message from CNTO

This month we’d like to share a bit more information on the new 72-hour visa-free policies.

Starting this month, Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province and the third largest city in China, is now officially allowing international transit passengers to stay in the city for 72 hours without a visa. Guangzhou is the third Chinese city, following Beijing and Shanghai, to launch this visa-free policy.

More info about this new visa-free policy for our travel trade partners:

Transit passengers from United States and other 44 countries who hold third-country visas and plane tickets can stay in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou for three days and are welcome to visit anywhere in these cities during their 72-hour stays.

In Shanghai, transit passengers can apply directly for the visa-free service in the exit-and-entry department at the city’s two airports, Hongqiao (SHA) and Pudong (PVG); in Beijing, transit passengers can enter through Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK); in Guangzhou, transit passengers can enter through Baiyun International Airport (CAN).

In an effort to simplify exit and entry procedures and to attract more visitors to explore their respective cities, more cities including Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, are working closely with central government to launch similar visa policy. Chengdu will likely put the policy into effect later this year, though no official start-date for the new visa-free program has been announced.

We encourage you, our partner suppliers, to take advantage of this new and convenient travel policy in your China program development. We at CNTO will continue to support you with our ongoing marketing and PR endeavors. If you are currently offering 72-hour visa-free stay programs and want to include them in the tour package section of our website at, please send details to Fan Si at  for application.

Beautiful China

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



Message from CNTO

China Travel News

Upcoming Events and Festivals in China

Partner Travel Supplier News

New Tourism Developments

Culture Corner

China Travel News

NYTChina’s Great Wall Featured in New York Times
The Great Wall is one of China’s most well-known attractions, but have you or your clients every stayed overnight on this incredible sight? In a recent article in The New York Times entitled “The Great Wall, Our Way,” the journalist details her and her family’s two-day hike on one of the most authentic portions of the wall and how she hoped to sleep in a tent in a watchtower. To read more about this experience, see the story at

Beijing Testing Smart Phone Self-Guided Tours
Phone ToursChina’s capital city, Beijing, will be one of the first cities in China to test out scenic spots throughout the city where visitors can use smart phones to receive information. Starting later this fall, tourists will have access to accelerated Wi-Fi coverage and 50 spots where they can receive information on hot spots, hotels, shopping spots and more, making for a portable self-guided tour experience. If Beijing’s trial run is successful, additional cities throughout China are likely to offer this “smart” experience as well.

TibetTibet Reports Surge in Tourist Numbers
Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region continues to see a strong increase in the number of tourist arrivals. As many as 3.43 million tourists visited to the plateau region from January to June, an increase of 21.8 percent from the same period last year, the regional tourism bureau said in a recent statement. Summer is a peak travel season for the region, when many tourists visit some of Tibet’s major scenic spots and take in upcoming festivals such as the Lhasa Shoton Festival and Damxung Horse Racing Festival, but it is an ideal destination for you to recommend to clients any time.

SheratonCNN Dubs New Sheraton Huzhou “Oddest-Looking Hotel”
The Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort is opening this month and the architecture is certainly new and exciting. With an overall shape resembling part of a ring and seemingly rising out of Huzhou’s Taihu Lake, the new hotel is eye-catching and has much to offer. The property covers 75 acres total and offers 321 rooms, each with a view of the lake. Huzhou is famous for its hot springs, bamboo forests, lake and golf, and is known as “The City of Silk.” For more about this new property, read the CNN article at or click here.

Upcoming Events and Festivals in China

CIBTMChina Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition – September 2-4
The CIBTM exhibition will take place in September at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing, providing a platform for the world’s suppliers in the MICE industry to meet top-level buyers for China. More than 4,400 industry professionals are expected to attend. Information on attending and exhibiting is available at

Jazz FestivalJZ Festival Shanghai – September 20 – October 19
Shanghai hosts a month-long music and culture festival, where many music styles are brought together in a celebration of the arts. The ninth edition of this festival will include both indoor and outdoor concerts throughout the celebration. Go to for more information.

CITMChina International Travel Mart – October 24-27
The largest professional travel mart in Asia, CITM 2013 will be held in Kunming this year. CITM provides inbound suppliers to China the opportunity to meet with China travel trade partners in person. For more information on this event, visit

Partner Travel Supplier News

China EasternChina Eastern Airlines Rolls Out New Routes and Planes
China Eastern Airlines (MU) has launched a new flight between Qingdao and San Francisco, which will operate twice a week starting this month. Flight MU589 is scheduled to take off from Qingdao Liuting International Airport (TAO) every Tuesday and Thursday. The return flight MU590 will depart from San Francisco on Tuesday and Sunday. In addition to the new route, starting in 2014, China Eastern Airlines will introduce new generation Boeing 777-300ER airplanes to its round-trip New York to Shanghai route. The airline also plans to add more routes to the network in order to expand its capacity to meet the growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region. For more route and airline information, go to

AIr ChinaAir China Launches New Nonstop Service between Houston and Beijing
Air China, the exclusive national flag carrier for China, has launched four weekly nonstop services between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston (IAH).
New Boeing 777-300ERs will be used for the Beijing-Houston direct service, which will start with four flights a week. With the launch of the nonstop service, Houston becomes Air China’s fifth gateway in North America, joining Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver. Air China will operate inside Terminal D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston’s gateway for all foreign carriers.

Hainan AirlinesBeijing to Boston Direct Flight in the Works for Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines (HNA) has applied for approval to operate a Beijing to Boston direct flight seven times a week starting in April 2014. If approved, the route will increase Hainan Airlines’ international flight network and increase access to Beijing from New England.

New Tourism Developments

HiltonFirst DoubleTree by Hilton Opens in Three Gorges Region
DoubleTree by Hilton announced the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Chongqing-Wanzhou. The opening of the 22-story hotel becomes the first international full-service hotel in Wanzhou, which is located on the Yangtze River, on the upper reaches of the Three Gorges. DoubleTree by Hilton Chongqing-Wanzhou features 253 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding river and mountains. The hotel will feature largest conference and banqueting space in Wanzhou, an indoor swimming pool, and more. For more information on this new property, go to:

LanghamNew Langham Place Hotel Opening in Haining in 2014
The Langham Hospitality Group recently announced it will manage the first luxury city center hotel in Haining, which is located in the Zhejiang coastal province at the south of the Yangtze River delta and just a 90-minute drive from Shanghai. Langham Place will open in 2014 and will feature 266 guest rooms and suites; it will also be part of an integrated complex with shopping and will be complemented by panoramic views of the city below.

Playa MayaPlaya Maya Water Park Opens in Shanghai
After four years of development, Playa Maya, the sister park of Shanghai Happy Valley Amusement park, has opened to the public and boasts the world’s biggest wave pool. In addition, the park will offer music festivals, performances, and attractions when open from mid-June through mid-September every year. Playa Maya is now the biggest open-air water park in East China.

Culture Corner

Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area

Culture CornerThe Huanglong Valley is a scenic and historic area northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. The Huanglong area is well known for its colorful pools of limestone formations, snow-capped mountains, the easternmost of all the Chinese glaciers, diverse forest ecosystems, as well as waterfalls and hot springs.

Scattered along the valley are natural pools of different sizes and shapes, which vary in color from green and blue to orange and yellow due to the limestone deposits. In the sunlight, yellow and gold colors are seen throughout the valley’s forests, lending to the area’s name – Huanglong means “Yellow Dragon.”

Huanglong Valley is also home to many endangered animals, including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed Monkey. The area was declared a World Heritage Site for its natural beauty and historic significance by UNESCO in 1992.


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