March 2013 E-Newsletter

News from China National Tourist Office

Greetings from CNTO

Since the new website for the China National Tourist Office (CNTO),, was launched in January of this year, I have received a lot of positive feedback from colleagues and friends in the U.S. travel trade. Thank you very much for your continuous support – and we hope that the website serves you well too!

Our technical team is working on a new section of the website that will include tour packages to China from leading tour operators. While these packages are not online yet, you can see the list of tour operators who offer such packages at Our goal behind adding tour packages to the site is not only to promote travel to China, but also to support you as a supplier partner. The new tour packages section of the website is slated to go live later this month, so be sure to check back then! In the meantime, please continue to use to find information on all kinds of China travel topics, such as how to obtain a visa and other trip-planning advice, photos, videos and all kinds of other helpful details.

In addition to the wonderful – and ever-growing – new website, we have lots to be thankful for this March. Thanks to you and the hard work of all our partners, arrivals from the U.S. continue to grow: in January 2013, arrivals from the U.S. reached 164,900, an increase of 7.26% compared with same period of time last year. It is my hope that this excellent start in January and the number of U.S. tourists to China will continue to grow for the rest of 2013.


Beautiful China

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

Director Yaping Xue



Greetings from CNTO

CNTO Study on Tourism to China

China Travel News

Upcoming Events

Airline Partner News

New Tourism Developments

Culture Corner

CNTO Study on Tourism to China

As noted in our previous newsletters, the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), through PhoCusWright, fielded a survey of more than 30,00 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 focus on information sources for travelers making a decision about upcoming travel destinations.

China Tourism Statistics

Interpretation: Travelers consulted a range of online and offline information sources when choosing their destination. Personal recommendations from friends/family was the most commonly cited information source among travelers whose last trip was to Asia, while travelers whose last trip was not to Asia were more likely to research on online. Travelers whose last trip was not to Asia were also more likely to rely on brochures and printed guidebooks. Notably, websites or applications via tablet were used by 15% of travelers whose last trip was to Asia – an even larger share than travelers in that group who used websites or applications via mobile phone (10%).

China Travel News

TrainBeijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railroad Massively Successful in First Year-and-a-Half
The high-speed railway line that connects Beijing and Shanghai – and cuts travel time between the two major cities from eight-plus hours to only five hours – has already reached more than 100 million passenger trips since its initial operation in June 2011. The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail is now accompanied by the Beijing-Guangzhou line – the world’s longest, and in operation since December 2012. With these two rails and other railway lines offered throughout China, travel by train continues to be an excellent transportation option for both locals and visitors within China.

CNNCNN Travel Touts China’s Most Beautiful Water Towns
China is known the world over as one of the fastest-growing countries. But beyond its skyscrapers and modern innovations, China is still home to many breathtaking historic and natural sites that have retained their authenticity. CNN Travel has recognized this and shared with readers “China’s 5 most beautiful water towns,” an article highlighting Hongcun Ancient Village, Anhui Province; Tai’erzhuang, Shandong Province; Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu Province; Fenghuang, Hunan Province; and Huangyao Ancient Town, Guangxi. Read more about these water towns at so you can help your clients experience even more picturesque places in China.

Grand CanalChina’s Grand Canal and Silk Road on the Path to UNESCO World Heritage Status
China has a wealth of natural and cultural sites already on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but hopes to add two more to the list this year. The Grand Canal of China and the Silk Road – two sites of great Chinese historical significance – are up for consideration by UNESCO. Once the main route for ancient trade between China and the West, the Silk Road was a key artery for business and cultural exchange. The Grand Canal is the longest man-made waterway in the world, connecting five bodies of water in China, and played a crucial role in the development of Chinese innovation. Upon inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List, the two sites will join China’s current 43 inscripted sites and the 50 tentative sites.

WSJFour of Beijing’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Activities Revealed in the Wall Street Journal
Are your clients interested in a “totally new” or “truly authentic” travel experience in Asia? The Wall Street Journal featured just that – new things to do in Beijing, China, in its travel section this month. Entitled “Only in…Beijing,” the article highlights “four oddball things worth slowing down for in China’s frenetic capital” and goes beyond the larger attractions such as the Summer Palace, Forbidden City and the Great Wall to feature sights and experiences “off the tourist track.” Here’s a surprising one for China: how about the most bona fide Korean kimchi available? The article shares where you or your clients can eat at a North Korean government-run restaurant in Beijing, where the waitresses are “said to train in North Korea for a full two years before being allowed to leave the homeland to serve bibimbap.” To read where exactly you can taste this in China – as well as the three other incredible experiences and sights the WSJ describes, go to

CruiseMeet CNTO at Cruise Shipping Miami 2013
The China National Tourist Office in New York will be exhibiting at this year’s Cruise Shipping Miami, the leading trade event for cruise industry buyers and suppliers in the U.S., from March 11-14, 2013. “On board” at the event are some major Chinese cruise destinations, including Guangdong Province, Tianjin Municipal City, Qingdao City, Shanghai Municipal City, Guangxi Province, Chongqing Municipal City, Xiamen City and Sanya City. If you’re attending Cruise Shipping Miami, be sure to visit CNTO at booth #459 for more information about these destinations in China or adding China to a cruise itinerary. We hope to see you in Miami!

Upcoming Events in China

Formula 1Formula 1 Racing Comes to China this April
The 2013 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix is taking place in Shanghai this year from April 12-14. The Shanghai International Circuit features “stunning architecture, high-speed straights and winding turns,” as described by Formula 1. Team Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel described it by saying: “the track in China is unique due to its size” and explained why the ample course and pit areas make it a driver, crew and fan favorite. This event is an ideal activity for high-octane trips, guys’ weeks, as a business travel add-on, and even just another unique experience while in China. For a full schedule, photo gallery, videos, information on tickets and events, go to

Airline Partner News

China AirAir China to Purchase 31 New Boeing Aircraft
Air China recently signed an agreement with Boeing to buy a total of 31 passenger jets and freighters from Boeing in order to expand its fleet. Among the massive order will be two Boeing 747s, one 777, and 20 737s, for a total approximate cost of USD $2.6 billion, as well as many freighters for Air China Cargo, bringing the total combined list price to $4.83 billion. Delivery of the passenger planes will occur between 2014 and 2015. With this monumental purchase, Air China seeks to expand its capacity and improve efficiency of its flight services.

AirlinesMore Flights from the U.S. to China Planned for 2013
Three major airlines will increase their offerings from the U.S. to China this year, making getting to the destination even more convenient. Starting April 26, 2013, China Eastern Airlines will begin daily direct flights between Shanghai (PVG) and San Francisco (SFO). Air China will commence non-stop service between Houston (IAH) and Beijing (PEK) four times a week starting July 11, 2013; Houston will be Air China’s fifth gateway in North America in addition to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. Finally, Hainan Airlines will launch non-stop service between Beijing (PEK) and Chicago (ORD) in early September this year, with four flights a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday). These new flights will be in addition to Hainan’s existing direct flights to Beijing from Seattle and Toronto

New Tourism Developments

ConradConrad Beijing Opens its Doors
Hilton Worldwide’s flagship property in Beijing welcomes its first guests this month with the opening of the Conrad Beijing. With a prime location in China’s capital city, the Conrad Beijing offers stylish surroundings: the hotel’s 289 guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows with picturesque views of Tuanjie Lake Park, the iconic CCTV building and the Beijing skyline. Also on property are a modern fitness center, a spa, heated swimming pool, dining and entertainment options, as well as banquet and board rooms for professional meetings and events.

Grand Hyatt BeijingGrand Hyatt Beijing at Oriental Plaza Completes Renovations
This award-winning property, which is located at the prestigious crossroads of Chang An Avenue and Wangfujing, just minutes within walking distance away from the Forbidden City, has completed renovation of 234 Grand Premium Rooms. The remaining 591 guestrooms in the Grand Hyatt Beijing will be renovated over the next three years, while the hotel’s well-known lobby and restaurants will remain unchanged. The newly updated guest rooms feature all-new furnishings and outfitting, as well as increased functionality for today’s tech-savvy travelers.

MovenpickMövenpick Adds Its First Property in China
The Swiss hotelier, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, will open their first property in China, a 250-room hotel in Enshi City, Hubei Province. The new five-story Mövenpick Hotel Enshi is set to open in summer 2013 and will be just a short drive from the area that includes Enshi Grand Canyon and lush countryside. The hotel will feature two restaurants, a bar, club lounge, ballroom, meeting rooms, and a pool, spa and fitness center. By 2015, Mövenpick plans to open three additional properties in China, with a resort in Phoenix Island, Sanya, a property in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia; and a hotel in Jiading, Shanghai.

StegenbergerSteigenberger Hotel Group Enters Chinese Hotel Market with Joint Venture
Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts, InterCityHotel and Beijing Yun Bang Investment Trade Co. have joined together to establish the two hotel brands within the Chinese hotel market, pairing “German know-how and local Guangxi (inside connections),” according to Travel Pulse. The five-star Hotel Maximilian is slated to open this summer in Beijing and be managed by Steigenberger. The hotel will include 300 rooms, a German-style pub, a Chinese restaurant and more, located on the AUDI World site in the north section of the city. Further in the future, the group plans to open its second hotel in China in Qingdao, a coastal water town, with a launch as early as winter 2015.

Jin Jiang Management CompanyJin Jiang International Hotel Management Company Announces the Opening of Hotel in Yulin City
The Yulin Petroleum Hotel had its soft opening recently, previewing its 395 guest rooms and suites, 26 meeting and conference rooms, and many restaurants. The new hotel even has a multipurpose room that can hold up to 900 people. The hotel is located in the scenic city of Yulin, which is north of Shaanxi province in Northwest China and is known as “China’s Kuwait” due to the chemical and energy bases established there. The Yulin area is rich with mineral resources and attracts a large number of business travelers. This 5-star hotel is located within easy access to Yulin city’s airport (UYN), railway station and city center, and close to historical landmark sites such as the Great Wall, the Yellow River, and the Red Stone Gorge.

Culture Corner

Culture CornerThe Old Town of Lijiang has a storied history of more than 800 years. Once a convergence of trade routes along the “Old Tea Horse Road,” Lijiang has retained its historic architecture, layout and charm and the town was inscribed on UNESCO Heritage Site listings in 1997. Its narrow cobbled roads, the gurgling canal, and its ancient architecture combine to create a tranquil place of days gone by. Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today.

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