September 2013 E-Newsletter

News from China National Tourist Office

Message from CNTO

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is observed on September 19th this year, and is the second grandest festival in China after Spring Festival. It is celebrated with customs including food, lanterns and dragon dances throughout the country. The festival is an occasion for outdoor reunions among friends and relatives to enjoy moon cakes and watch the moon, a symbol of harmony and unity. As the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, I, on behalf of the China National Tourist Office in New York, wish you all the best and encourage you to share with family and friends the joy of this traditional Chinese holiday.

This month we wanted to share with you – our respected trade partners – some information about changes to tourism to China, as follows:

New tourism law as of October 1, 2013
After nearly 30 years in the works, the new law will be enacted on October 1, 2013. This first-ever tourism law will protect the interests of tourists to China and foster the industry’s growth sustainably. The law also sets provisions on business operations within the tourism industry, meaning improved products and services for travelers to China. The details of the upcoming tourism law can be viewed in English here.

New visa rules for Americans
The Administration of the Entry and Exit of Foreign Nationals for China has released new visa rules for Americans visiting China. The regulation, which took effect September 1, divides ordinary visas into 12 categories. These new categories aim to streamline management while facilitating applications for Americans planning a trip to China. To learn more about the updated visa types and the new application form, click here.

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

ChengduChengdu 4th Chinese City to Offer 72-Hour Visa-Free Stays
Following Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Chengdu has become the fourth city in China to adopt the 72-hour visa-free stay policy. Chengdu is China’s first inland city to offer a 72-hour visa-free stay to transit passengers, which will allow tourists from the U.S. and 44 other countries who have visas and departing plane tickets for another country to apply for “transit without visa” at the Beijing Capital International Airport, Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, and now Chengdu Shuangliu Airport.

Chicago Tribune Highlights Five Tourist-Friendly Chinese Cities
Chicago TribuneThe Chicago Tribune recently laid out their must-see cities in China that are easy for English speakers to navigate. The list includes Hong Kong for its bilingual ease and lush attractions; Yangshuo for its “sharp mountains covered by lush greenery,” where they suggest bike-riding through the countryside; Giulin for a half-day walk by the Li River; Xi’an, home to the famous Terracotta Army and a Muslim Quarter with excellent cuisine; and Hangzhou and West Lake, which they note as one of China’s most scenic and historic tourist spots. Click here to read the full article.

CNNCNN Names Chengdu “China’s Latest Urban Star”
Chengdu may be the fourth-largest city in China and known as home to Giant Pandas, but it has recently become one of the fastest-growing cities in China and an “economic powerhouse,” according to a recent CNN Travel article. CNN cites Chengdu’s cultural attractions, the world’s largest building, new transportation routes into the city, excellent cuisine and nightlife as aspects making it even more appealing to visit. Click here to read the article – including where to eat, what to see, and more.

Upcoming Events and Festivals in China

National DayNational Day (October 1-7, 2013)
China was founded on October 1, 1949 with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. National Day is celebrated to commemorate this date, and also marks the start of week-long celebration called Golden Week. It is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, with a variety of government-organized festivities, including concerts, flag-raising ceremonies, dance and song shows, firework displays and painting and calligraphy exhibitions.

Music FestivalBeijing Music Festival 2013 (October 4-31, 2013)
The annual Beijing Music Festival, now in its 16th year, will kick off with the theme “Tribute to the Masters” to coincide with the births of several iconic composers from throughout the world. Verdi and Wagner works will be performed, along with Beijing-born Zhou Long’s opera “Madame White Snake,” which won a Pulitzer Prize for Music. For more information about this month-long music festival, click here.

Tour of Beijing CyclingTour of Beijing Cycling Tournament (October 11-15, 2013)
The third edition of the Tour of Beijing takes place this year in a series of four years. This year’s tournament will occur throughtout Beijing, with a route that circles landmarks such as Tiananmen Square, the Bird’s Nest Stadium, Summer Palace and the Great Wall. To learn more about the event or see past years’ results, go to

Shanghai Art FairShanghai Art Fair 2013 (November 14-17, 2013)
The Shanghai Art Fair, which was established in 1997, brings public and private art to Shanghai. More than 1,000 art galleries, organizations and agencies from throughout the world participate in this “art exchange” where classic and new artwork is on display. For tickets or further information, click here.

Partner Travel Supplier News

Century CruisesHainan Airlines to Launch Daily Nonstop Service between Chicago and Beijing
Hainan Airlines recently commenced nonstop service between Chicago O’Hare and Beijing, making it the only certified Skytrax five-star carrier in China to enter the Beijing-Chicago direct market. Hainan Airlines will fly out of Chicago twice per week on Tuesdays and Sundays. In November, subject to government approval, the airline plans to change aircraft type from an Airbus 340 to the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and in December, the nonstop frequency will be doubled to four times per week. In June 2014, the flight frequency will increase to daily.

AIr ChinaAir China Starts Daily Flights between San Francisco and Chongqing
Air China has officially opened its daily route from San Francisco to Chongqing, China, making the airline the first to provide scheduled service between western China and North America. The daily flight will depart from San Francisco, stop in Beijing, and then continue to Chongqing on the same 747 aircraft. For more information, click here.

China SouthernChina Southern and Virgin America Launch Interline Agreement
California-based Virgin America and China Southern Airlines have signed an interline agreement which offers seamless travel for China Southern passengers to transfer via Los Angeles to major U.S. cities such as San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston.

Hainan AirlinesUnited Airlines Planning 787 Service to Chengdu
United Airlines recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin nonstop service linking the airline’s San Francisco hub with Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city and one of the fastest growing. The airline must now await approval from the Chinese government. The new nonstop flight would reduce travel time between the two cities by nearly four hours by eliminating a connection. If approved for the route, United plans to offer thrice-weekly flights on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplanes.

New Tourism Developments

SheratonNew Sheraton Hotel Opens in Shenyang
The Sheraton Shenyang South City Hotel has opened its doors in the Hunnan New District of Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province in northeast China, closely located to the offices of many international corporations, nearby airport and leisure areas. Sheraton Shenyang South City Hotel features 340 contemporary guest rooms, including 38 suites. The property represents part of Starwood’s vigorous expansion plan in China, offering a new level of comfort and style in Shenyang’s hospitality landscape.
For more information, click here.

RosewoodRosewood to Open Ultra-Luxury Hotel in Chongqing in 2015
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will open a new, ultra-luxury, 361-room hotel in Chongqing, China in 2015, in addition to its 279-room Rosewood Beijing in early 2014. The Rosewood Chongqing will be located on the banks of the Yangtze River, in the historic city, which is the commercial center and transportation hub for Southwest China and the world’s second most populous city. The hotel will feature a 31st-floor Manor Club executive lounge with outdoor terrace, as well as approximately 17,000 square feet of meeting space, numerous dining options and entertaining facilities, and Rosewood’s signature spa brand – Sense® spa. For more information about Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, please visit

AscottCitadines Apart’hotel to Open in Hangzhou
The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has announced that it will be opening a Citadines Apart’hotel in Hangzhou, China. Offering residents the feeling of home, Citadines Intime City Hangzhou will provide spacious studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with a fully-equipped kitchen and separate working and sleeping areas. Scheduled to open in late 2014, the 100-unit Citadines Intime City Hangzhou will be Ascott’s 11th Citadines Apart’hotel in China. For more information about Citadines Intime City Hangzhou, click here.

MarriottMarriott Executive Apartments Debuts in Shenzhen
Marriott International recently announced the grand opening of The OCT Harbour, Shenzhen – Marriott Executive Apartments, the brand’s first extended-stay property in Southern China. Located at the OCT Harbour in Shenzen, the hotel is close to several key business districts in the region and is aimed at international travelers who are away from home for 30 days or more. The property has 155 apartments which include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. For more information about The OCT Harbour, Shenzhen – Marriott Executive Apartments – including deals and promotions – click here.

Four New SLS Hotels to Debut in China by 2015
SLSThe exclusive boutique hotel brand, SLS Hotels, is planning to open properties in four cities throughout China by 2015. The parent company of SLS Hotels, sbe, unveiled expansion plans for the award-winning hotels, confirming locations in Shanghai, Beijing, Wuxi and Kunming, with plans to launch SLS Hotels in additional Chinese cities after 2015. SLS Shanghai, the first hotel slated to open, will offer an oceanfront resort experience. For more information on the SLS Hotels opening in China, go to:

Culture Corner

Honghe Hani Rice Terrace

Culture CornerChina’s Honghe Hani Rice Terraces stretch across more than 64-square-miles in the Yunnan province of southern China, from the Ailao Mountains to the Hong River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed an intricate system of channels to bring water from the mountaintops to these rice terraces to grow red rice, the region’s primary crop. This functional farm system is harmonious with the surrounding nature and has also created a stunning landscape. The Hani Rice Terraces were recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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