China International Travel Mart 2012 Hosts Nearly 1,200 Travel Buyers
The Annual China International Travel Mart was held in Shanghai from November 15-18 this year. Attracting governmental tourism organizations, travel operators, hotels, tourist attractions, airlines, cruise ship operators and travel websites from all over the world, it was a tremendous success. Boasting almost 620,000-square-feet of exhibit space, 1,198 buyers from more than 40 countries and regions, 100,000 trade visitors and consumers, and more than 7,000 contracts signed with a value of RMB 800 million (more than $128 million USD), CITM truly is the largest and most influential tourism event in Asia.
Make your plans for the 2013 China International Travel Mart, to be held in Kunming, China, October 24-27, 2013!
Travelers to Get Lounge Upgrade at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
International travelers will have access to better lounges at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport (PVG) in the near future, as the SkyTeam Airline Alliance will ask its member carriers to share lounges with other alliance passengers at the airport. SkyTeam Airline Alliance, with 19 airline members, is the world’s second-largest airlines coalition (after Star Alliance). This means that passengers from any SkyTeam Airline will be able to utilize the flagship lounge of any member airline. Similar lounge-sharing programs have been successfully launched in other cities, such as London’s Heathrow Airport.
In other news from Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, the Shanghai Airport Authority is investing more than $195 million in a complete renovation of Terminal 1, expanding its capacity to be able to handle more than 37 million passengers a year. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of this year.
Tibet’s Mount Everest National Park Opens
Mount Everest National Park is now open in Tibet. This park is part of Tibetan efforts to turn the region into an important world destination by focusing on the protection of the ecology and biodiversity and prevention from illegal resource exploitation or land use. It is Tibet’s third national park following Namtso National Park, which opened earlier this week, and the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Park, which opened in 2010. Mt. Everest National Park is the world’s highest-altitude national park and includes five mountain peaks with altitudes of more than 26,000 feet as well as ecological valleys and culture-themed zones, hot springs and snow-coated forests.
Beijing Increases Tourism Conveniences for Travelers
In support of Beijing’s fast-growing tourism market, the city plans to boost the construction of its duty-free system for tourists, including building duty-free shops in the downtown area and providing entry and exit tax rebate services. A 72-hour visa-free tourism pass for foreigners, which is expected to support the city’s tourism sector, is also under discussion. At the same time, Beijing also plans to increase flights to other tourism destinations from the city and to share tourism resources with other cities.
Free Wi-Fi in Beijing Hotels
By the end of this year, free Wi-Fi will be provided in all A-level tourist hotels, as well as all 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels in Beijing. Travelers will benefit from this upgraded service, which will enable surfing of the internet when inside and outside around the hotels, as well as being able to easily log in to the free Wi-Fi at hotel lobbies, tourist service centers, and popular tourist attractions without any registration or passwords.
Beijing to Guangzhou High-Speed Railway to Open by Year’s End
The high-speed railway running between Beijing and Guangzhou will be completed and operational by the end of 2012, reducing travel time for passengers traveling between the north and the south of China from 20 hours to only eight hours. Passengers will be able to take trains from Beijing to Xi’an and Wuhan in four-and-a-half hours. More high-speed railways are planned in the future to provide fast and convenient transport for passengers traveling throughout China.
Unique Hotel in China is Featured in Condé Nast Traveler
Jade Screen Peak, also known as Yuping Peak, is in the Yellow Mountain range, some 70 peaks that make up one of China’s most celebrated landscapes. For centuries, Chinese painters and poets have visualized its stone crags and endless steps, twisted ancient pines, hot springs, and seas of mist and clouds. Perched a mile above sea level, with 60,000 steps carved out of the mountain (and at least 50+ miles from the nearest Starbucks!) is the 60-room, no frills, Jade Screen Hotel.
Condé Nast Traveler’s recent article about this hotels is enhanced by a “Letter to the Editor” from a young chemotherapy patient who wrote in while undergoing massive chemo treatments for leukemia and said, “The concept of travel to remote locations and the spectacular photographs transported me to places far away at a time I needed it most. I saved the article and often stared wistfully at the pictures, especially the one of the Jade Screen Hotel, in China’s Yellow Mountains. It looked like something straight out of a fairytale — a castle on a mountain with thousands of stone steps leading up to it. I could hardly fathom how a hotel could exist in such a place. I wanted to go. When I finished my last treatment, I took my new lease on life and headed straight for Yuping Peak. I climbed those ancient steps, and I stayed at the Jade Screen Hotel. And yes, it was pure magic, a dream come true. I can honestly say it was one of my most memorable nights…”