Thailand stages tourism events to help local economy recover

Amazing Thailand Mega FAM Trip tAmazing Thailand Mega FAM Trip to Phang-nga 2023 opening ceremony on March 18, Saturday, in Phang-nga, Thailand. (Photo provided to Peoples Daily)Bangkok (Peoples Daily) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) organized the Amazing Thailand Mega FAM Trip to Phang-nga 2023 from Saturday to Tuesday with the participation of 144 travel agent representatives from 12 countries, including China, the rest of Asia and the South Pacific.Tanes Petsuwan, TAT deputy governor for international marketing in Asia and the South Pacific, said, "The Amazing Thailand Mega FAM Trip to Phang-nga 2023 showcases meaningful travel experiences in Phang-nga in line with the Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters campaign. It also forms part of the TATs plan to help establish Phang-nga as a new destination for the Asia and South Pacific market, and in doing so helping to expand tourist flow and tourism income to the local economy.”The trip concluded on Tuesday with a B2B business negotiation event, which provided a chance for trip participants to meet and discuss business with over 50 tourism operators from Phang-nga and will help accelerate Thailand tourism recovery.

Summer travel is likely to remain hot, so book early

High fuel prices and limited airline capacity drove up costs, with overall travel prices increasing 17% over pre-pandemic levels by June 2022, according to NerdWallet's Travel Price Index.

Chinese rush to travel abroad as COVID-19 rules lifted

File photo: CGTNAs China continues to optimize its COVID-19 management policies, a wave of people are making plans to travel overseas during the upcoming "May Day" holiday and beyond.China resumed outbound group tours for its citizens last week to 40 more countries including Nepal, Vietnam, Iran, France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Brazil. This was the second batch of destinations in Chinas pilot program to resume outbound international group tours. The first batch of 20 countries and regions was announced on February 6.Travel agencies are offering tours to popular Southeast Asian countries, as well as Switzerland, Italy and other European countries. Reservations for popular destinations has been booked solid until June. Many people plan to take advantage of travel packages to get away over the five-day May Day holiday.With the popularity of outbound travel, airfares are soaring. Round-trip airfares from Beijing to Bangkok during the May Day holiday are selling for 5,146 yuan ($757), an increase of 22 percent, and the price of a round-trip flight from Beijing to Singapore is 5,342 yuan, an increase of nearly 60 percent. Given these high prices, some tourists have started to find alternatives, like Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as some European countries.(Compiled by Xu Yanan)

Educational travel on the rise

The China Tourism Academy released a report on Monday saying that education tourism has become popular among people of all ages.Photo: XinhuaMore than 6 million people joined study tours last year, higher even than the pre-pandemic number of 4.8 million in 2019, according to the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee of the National Peoples Congress."The key difference between study travel and other tourism products is that study travel focuses on learning knowledge while traveling," Luo Shugang, director of the committee, said at a forum on Monday.He said that study travel can be dated back to the Song (960-1279) and Ming dynasties (1368-1644), when many poets wrote of their experiences on study travels."The nation formed an industry for study travel during the period of reform and opening-up, which has seen rapid development in the past decade," he said, adding that students in primary and middle schools are so far the main participants in education tourism.Dai Bin, president of the Chinese Tourism Academy, said at the forum that the development of education tourism has promoted the social education of primary and middle school students, which has also played an important role in blending culture and tourism.He suggested that China establish national campsites for study travel at places with beautiful natural views and rich cultural heritage.However, according to Luo, the committee director, the nations education tourism still faces problems in its development, such as having a weak connection with the national curriculum, and fewer practice opportunities during trips."The market supervision is far behind the development of education tourism due to a lack of State-level market entry requirements. The domestic education tourism market is still in its infancy with many different entities like travel agencies and consultancies pouring into the market."The urgent task for government bodies is to help maintain th...

Korean ethnic tourism thrives in Jilin province

Yanbian, Jilin province — the only autonomous prefecture for China's Korean ethnic group — attracts many tourists. [Photo provided to] Yanbian, Jilin province — the only autonomous prefecture of China's Korean ethnic group — has witnessed a rapid increase of tourists attracted by

Jordan facilitates visas for visitors

This is an overview of Madaba town from the bell tower of Saint John, the Baptist Church. (File photo: VCG)AMMAN, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Jordans Ministry of Interior on Monday launched the Electronic Visa Project that aims to facilitate the entry procedures for travelers into the kingdom.The project would enable travelers to obtain their visas and pay their fees electronically before their arrival, without having to visit border centers and diplomatic missions abroad, said Interior Minister Mazen Faraya in a statement.Meanwhile, the option to obtain visas upon arrival at border centers would still be available, he added.Faraya emphasized that the project is in line with Jordans efforts to attract investments, and encourage various types of tourism to promote the kingdom to be a tourist destination.Furthermore, foreign students studying at Jordanian universities are now allowed to renew their residency permits directly through security centers without the need for prior approval from the ministry.The new project was in collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, and with the efforts of all related entities, Faraya said.

Flowers provide a burst of wonder in Guizhou

Tourists take in views of cole flowers at Jinhai Xueshan Scenic Area in Guiding county of Guizhou province on March 11. [Photo by Deng Gang/For] With the weather warming, it's a good time to wander in a sea of rape flowers at the Jinhai Xueshan Scenic Area in Guizhou province's G

Visitor arrivals in Macao surge 143.1 percent in February

MACAO, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Visitor arrivals in Macao surged 143.1 percent year on year to 1,593,743 in February, the Macao Special Administrative Regions (SAR) statistical agency said on Friday.File photo: CGTNThe figure represented a month-on-month rise of 14.0 percent, showed the latest report from the Statistics and Census Service.Overnight visitors and same-day visitors soared 201.8 percent and 99.5 percent year on year to 843,402 and 750,341, respectively.The number of visitors from the Chinese mainland grew 64.8 percent year on year to 1,003,999, while visitors from Chinas Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan region rocketed by 1,163.7 percent and 372.6 percent year on year to 523,271 and 22,411, respectively.

Shanghai Disney Resort temporarily suspends the sale of new annual passes

Shanghai Disney Resort announced on Friday that it will temporarily suspend the sale of Diamond Annual Passes and Sapphire Annual Passes starting Friday to better manage guest flow and preserve the in-park guest experience. Current benefits for existing annual pass holders will not be affected.

Penguins meet visitors close-up in warm Guangzhou

Gentoo penguins met visitors at the new Grandview Penguin Snow World in Guangzhou. Photo by Zheng Erqi/China Daily Eight Gentoo penguins met visitors close-up at the new Grandview Penguin Snow World in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Thursday. Interactive activities start at 3:30 pm daily at the

Hong Kong sees over 1 mln visitors in February, first in 3 years

HONG KONG, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong saw 1.46 million visitors last month, exceeding the monthly one-million mark for the first time since February 2020, as the share of tourists continued to grow, official data showed Wednesday.People wearing face masks walk on a street of Causeway Bay in south Chinas Hong Kong, Feb. 28, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)The number of Chinese mainland visitors jumped to more than 1.1 million in February, up from 280,000 in the previous month, according to data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB).The rebound comes after normal travel between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland fully resumed on Feb. 6.Last month, non-mainland travelers to Hong Kong rose from 220,000 to 350,000, with short-distance visits mainly made by people from Southeast Asia, the data showed.Passengers wearing face masks take a tram in south Chinas Hong Kong, Feb. 28, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)The HKTB said the MTR Corporation will give away 100,000 Airport Express tickets, 100,000 Tourist Day Passes and 100,000 coupons each worth 30 yuan (4.3 U.S. dollars) for high-speed rail tickets to attract visitors to Hong Kong.The number of stores participating in the HKTBs promotion activities will also be increased from about 1,500 at present to about 3,000 starting next month.

Sanlitun: Beijing's 'one-stop-shop' for shopping, dining, partying

The Taikoo Li shopping area in Sanlitun, Chaoyang District of Beijing. (Photo: CFP)Sanlitun is a bustling neighborhood in Beijings Chaoyang District. It is well known for its vibrant nightlife, shopping outlets, and eclectic dining scene, attracting both locals and tourists. It also ranks on the list of China’s national-level tourist areas.The Sanlitun area is home to numerous bars, clubs, restaurants, and luxury shopping malls, such as Sanlitun Taikoo Li. Its central location and easy access to public transportation make it a popular destination for both locals and visitors to the city. The area first began to attract foreign residents and diplomats a decade ago due to its close proximity to the embassy district.Since the 1990s, the street has served as a famous landmark in the Chinese capital. Over the years, Sanlitun continued to grow and develop, becoming a popular destination for not only foreign diplomats and visitors but also domestic artists, designers, and intellectuals.The Taikoo Li shopping area in Sanlitun, Chaoyang District of Beijing. (Photo: CFP)Sanlitun experienced a burst of commercial development to emerge as a popular nightlife and shopping district. With the opening in 2008 of Sanlitun Village (subsequently renamed Sanlitun Taikoo Li), a luxury shopping center, the neighborhood became a hub for high-end fashion, art, and culture, attracting hordes of tourists and expatriates.Fashionable young men and women can be seen roaming the Sanlitun area every day, searching for stylish clothes and new hairstyles to stand out from the crowd. Street fashion photographers also gather here to capture new fads and trends.Today, Sanlitun continues to evolve and expand, with ongoing development projects aimed at enhancing its urban landscape and cultural offerings.For its latest overhaul, which began on Dec. 25, 2022, Sanlitun’s bar street is undergoing some much-needed renovations out of safety concerns, since most of the buildings in the bar area were cons...

China sees big increase in entry, exit trips

Nearly 40 million entries and exits to and from the Chinese mainland were made in the past two months since China downgraded its COVID-19 management from Class A to Class B on Jan 8, as a number of countries are expected to relax their epidemic restrictions for travelers from China.Chinese tourists interact with Maasai performers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, Feb 11, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)The National Immigration Administration said on Wednesday that the numbers of people and vehicles entering and leaving the mainland increased significantly since the implementation of the optimized COVID-19 response measures.As of Tuesday, immigration authorities across the country had handled 39.72 million entry and exit trips, up 112.4 percent year-on-year, and the number of inbound and outbound vehicles, boats, planes and trains totaled nearly 2.5 million, up 59.3 percent year-on-year.The authorities issued about 3.36 million passports to Chinese citizens in the past two months, more than 13 times the number issued in the preceding two-month period before the optimized COVID-19 measures took effect. In addition, 12.67 million certificates were issued for travel to and from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, an increase of 837.7 percent, and 122,000 visas and residence permits were issued to foreigners, up 33.1 percent.Lin Yongsheng, a spokesman for the administration, said that since the implementation of the optimized measures, the entry-exit flow of people and applications for entry-exit documents have risen sharply, driven by the steady increase in international passenger flights and the resumption of personnel exchanges between the mainland and Hong Kong as well as Macao.Immigration authorities will continue to improve the measures to meet the increased entry-exit needs and promote exchanges between Chinese and foreign personnel, Lin said.Meanwhile, United States media reports said that Washington is planning to ease COVID-19 testing restrictions for tra...

Roads make all the difference in rural Tibet

The Tibet autonomous region invested heavily in traffic and transportation projects last year, steering nearly 36.7 billion yuan ($5.36 billion) to such projects and applying more than 16 billion yuan toward fixed-asset investment, according to the regions Traffic and Transportation Department.A view of the newly opened Lhasa-Nagchu Highway in the Tibet autonomous region. (Photo provided to to the heavy investment, Tibets 662 townships and 4,382 villages have been linked by paved roads. Ninety-five percent of its townships and 78 percent of its villages are now connected by roads, the department said on Monday during the regions annual work conference on traffic and transportation.The region saw growth of 720 kilometers in its rural network extension, and its total road network extended more than 121,000 km last year.In 2022, 185 road construction projects were undertaken and 117 unsafe bridges were renovated in the regions rural areas. Passenger bus services in rural areas increased, with 612 townships and 3,705 villages linked with shuttle buses as of December. About 90 percent of its townships and 69 percent of its villages had accesses to shuttle bus services.The regions traffic and transportation sectors last year saw 3.98 million passengers and a freight volume of around 39 million metric tons.This year, the region will apply 40 billion yuan to traffic and transportation projects. Total highway distance is expected to reach 124,000 km. At that point, more than 95.5 percent of the regions townships and 82 percent of its villages will be accessible by road.The upgrade and improvement of traffic and transportation has greatly contributed to the regions overall social and economic development.Residents of Tashi Choten village in Lhokha, have been operating family inns to generate income in recent years. After the village was accessible by a paved road in 2019, a large number of tourists flocked there ever...

China sees surge in entry, exit trips

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Immigration authorities across China had handled 39.722 million exits and entries as of Tuesday since Jan. 8 this year, up 112.4 percent year on year, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) said Wednesday.Chinese tourists arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Feb. 7, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)China started managing COVID-19 as a Class B infectious disease on Jan. 8 this year.NIA statistics showed that over 1.01 million exit and entry trips were recorded on Feb. 25, the first single-day figure exceeding 1 million since 2020.The number of inbound and outbound trips made by various means of transportation totalled 2.487 million in the same period, a year-on-year increase of 59.3 percent, said the NIA.Immigration authorities across China issued over 3.36 million passports; over 12.67 million certificates for travel between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan; and 122,000 visas, stay permits and residence permits for foreign nationals; up 1,220.9 percent, 837.7 percent and 33.1 percent, respectively, compared with the figures before China downgraded its management of COVID-19.

Brazil records highest tourist arrivals in 4 years for January

BRASILIA, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Brazil received 868,587 foreign tourists in the first month of 2023, 14.7 percent more than before the COVID-19 pandemic and the highest number in the last four years, the Ministry of Tourism reported Tuesday.Revellers attend a street party called “Bloco Das Barbas” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 18, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Januarys figure exceeded by over 100,000 tourists in comparison with the numbers for the same month in 2019 and 2020, while almost tripling that in 2022, according to data from the Federal Police immigration service."The world is returning to Brazil," President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on his Twitter account Tuesday, highlighting the tourism sectors recovery during the first month of his third term.In 2022, the last year of Jair Bolsonaros administration, Brazil received about 2.69 million foreign tourists, 55 percent lower than 2019, when 4.85 million arrived.According to Marcelo Freixo, president of the Brazilian Tourist Board, the data shows how the countrys image abroad directly influences tourism."Brazil stopped being a pariah and was once again seen as a welcoming country, an ally of humanity, committed to environmental sustainability, human rights and valuing our diversity," he said.Freixo pointed out that the government resumed the use of Brand Brazil in promoting the country to send the message that "sustainability, diversity and democracy are back."In 2022, Brazil had one of the worst global tourism performances among countries that had opened their borders after vaccination against COVID-19.

Vietnam's tourism revenue hits 3.6 bln USD in January-February

HANOI, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Vietnams tourism earnings hit 3.6 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months of this year, up 12 percent from a year earlier, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said on Friday.Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. (Photo: CFP)Even though the number of international visitors has not quite recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the Southeast Asian country is enjoying a much-needed boost due to its full reopening.Vietnam received nearly 1.8 million international passengers, mainly through airports in January and February, about 58 percent of the figure recorded in the same period of 2019, according to the General Statistics Office.During the period, foreign arrivals to Vietnam by air accounted for 90.7 percent of the total, followed by road with 8.6 percent and sea routes with 0.7 percent, respectively.South Korea remained the largest source market in the first two months, with 560,000 visitor arrivals, followed by the United States with 148,000 and Thailand with 97,000.Vietnam targets 8 million foreign arrivals this year and expects its tourism revenue to hit 27.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2023, up 31 percent from last year when the tourism activity earned the country 20.8 billion U.S. dollars, said the countrys tourism administration.

1st Chinese tour group lands in New Zealand in 3 years

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 3 (Xinhua) -- A group of Chinese tourists on board the China Southern Airlines CZ305 that arrived at the Auckland Airport Friday evening was welcomed at a special ceremony with gifts and traditional performances.Photo: China News AgencyThe tour group of 61 Chinese travellers is the first official Chinese tour group to arrive in New Zealand since early 2020.Tourists in this tour group have been waiting for their New Zealand trip for a long time. Sixty-seven-year-old Wang Li and her husband were excited to kick-start their first international trip in three years. "New Zealand has been our life dream destination for many years," she said.Jiang Weizu, 76, is the eldest in this tour group. He has several hundred social media followers who want to watch him travel through live-streaming. "I booked my New Zealand trip three years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that I am finally here, my followers cant wait to watch my live-streaming from New Zealand," said Jiang.New Zealands government officials, Chinese embassy representatives and business leaders welcomed the tour group at the airport. Pounamu (New Zealand greenstone jade) pendants and New Zealand-China diplomatic relations 50th anniversary first-day covers were presented to the tourists as gifts at the ceremony, which also featured New Zealand traditional Maori performances.Counsellor Dong Zhixue from the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand said the landing of the first tourist group marks a historic moment in the resumption of tourism cooperation between China and New Zealand. The tourism industry is significant in promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two countries."Every Chinese tourist is a people ambassador of China-New Zealand friendship," said Dong.On behalf of Tourism Minister Peeni Henare, New Zealand Member of Parliament Naisi Chen said, "we are pleased that China has resumed outbound groups and has chosen New Zealand to be ...

Chongqing builds globe's largest rail transit network in a mountainous area

Chongqing municipality completed the construction of a 500-kilometer urban rail transit line on Feb 27, said to be the worlds largest rail transit network in a mountainous area.A train runs on the Chongqing rail transit line 2 on Feb 27, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)It also became the eighth domestic city to operate a rail transit line over 500 km, following Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Wuhan.China has led the world in rail transit construction and operation in recent years. By the end of 2022, 53 cities have operated 290 rail transit lines with a total 9,584 km, according to the Ministry of Transport."With innovative designs and advanced technology, Chongqing Rail Transit has achieved many firsts in the country, even in the world, and become one of the citys features," said Yue Shun, director of the Chongqing Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.By 2025, Chongqings rail transit system in operation or under construction is projected to exceed 1,000 km, with daily average passenger traffic in major urban districts exceeding 6 million travelers, accounting for more than half of the citys public transportation, according to the local governments plan.Currently, the citys urban mass transit system is composed of 12 lines, including two monorails.Due to the geography of Chongqing — a densely populated and mountainous city with multiple river valleys — transportation can be challenging and creative.Chongqing boasts the countrys longest rail transit mountain tunnel — the Tongluoshan Tunnel of Line 6 — and the deepest subway station in the country — Hongyan Village Station of Line 9, Yue added.In 2004, Chongqing built its first urban rail Line 2 in the densely populated downtown area with rugged terrain, which was Chinas first monorail and the first rail transit line in western China. The heavy-monorail technology imported from Japan can leverage the ability to negotiate steep grades and...

TV series creates tourism boom in China's Yunnan

KUNMING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Tourists taking selfies have lined the roads of Fengyangyi Village in southwest Chinas Yunnan Province since the soap opera Meet Yourself was filmed there, garnering more than 3.8 billion views.Qiubei County, southwest Chinas Yunnan Province. (Photo: VCG)The romantic drama tells the story of a woman who, after the death of her best friend, quits her job as an urban white collar worker and travels to Yunnan, a top tourist destination in China, where she enjoys a slow life and falls in love with an entrepreneur.Scoring 8.6 out of 10 on Chinas leading film rating platform Douban, the TV series, set in a beautiful mountainous landscape, satisfies its audiences desire to watch rural life unfold and find inner peace. It has led scores of fans to visit the shows filming locations and try everything that the main characters experience.The Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture is home to many of the shows filming locations, including Fengyangyi Village. Dali recorded nearly 4.24 million tourist visits during this years Spring Festival holiday, up 219 percent year on year, according to its culture and tourism bureau.Its tourism revenues during the holiday hit 3.16 billion yuan (about 455 million U.S. dollars), up 162 percent year on year. Rural tourism industries such as catering and hospitality in Dali have ushered in a new chapter of development."I watched every episode of the TV series, and my focus changed from the leading roles to the idyllic lifestyle in Yunnan," said Li Hui, a tourist who traveled to Dali by high-speed train with her friends from the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu."The TV series takes a slow lifestyle as its keynote, showing modern young peoples views on self-fulfillment and spiritual freedom from multiple aspects, such as returning home to start businesses to aid rural revitalization," said Wang Yichuan, vice chairman of the China Literature and Art Critics Associa...

Tourism insiders visit HK to explore opportunities

Hong Kong residents are shopping at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong on Jan 2, 2023. (Photo: VCG)The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday welcomed the first large-scale tourism inspection group from the Chinese mainland since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing new hopes for wider and deeper cross-border tourism collaboration.The group — 120 mainland tourism practitioners from 38 cities — kicked off a five-day tour of the city on Wednesday organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board to promote the city.From December 2022 to April, the board has arranged familiarization trips for about 700 travel and media representatives from places such as the mainland, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and India.On Wednesday, the delegation went to flagship cultural landmarks of Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Palace Museum, the M+ museum and Old Town Central. In the following days, they will visit more attractions and appreciate the charm of the international metropolis.Stressing "seeing is believing," HKTB Executive Director Dane Cheng Ting-yat said he hopes the practitioners can transform their personal experiences during this trip into innovative tourism products, which will help promote Hong Kongs appeal and attract visitors to return to the city soon.Zhou Lei, assistant general manager of Beijing Spring Travel Service, said that compared to the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Hong Kong Palace Museum is more delicate and international, which will bring tourists new experiences.Zhou also found the M+ Museums art exhibitions "gorgeous", saying it will attract many young tourists from the mainland and overseas.Samuel Xia Yongping, head of the Greater Bay Area department of China International Travel Service Shenzhen, said that he plans to develop more tourism products around Hong Kong in the near future, including group tours, highend tours for families, and study tours for business people.He will also develop weekend tours for...

Passengers from multiple countries allowed to board direct flights to China with antigen tests: embassies

Chinese embassies in several countries including Russia, Egypt and Singapore have announced that travelers coming to China are allowed to use antigen tests instead of nucleic acid tests to board direct flights starting from Wednesday

Swans flock to wetland in Hebei

Swans swim in the Caofeidian Wetland of Tangshan, Hebei province. Photo by Nie Yongli/For As temperatures in North China pick up, hundreds of swans flock to the Caofeidian Wetland in Tangshan, Hebei province, to roost and forage for food. Each year in early spring, the sleek gues

Cherry blossoms turn to gold in Fujian


Jilin ski resort now largest in Asia

Although the weather is getting warmer in Northeast China, the Beidahu Ski Resort in Jilin city, Jilin province, is attracting lots of ski enthusiasts to enjoy the final days of the snow season.During the 2022-23 season, the resort expanded its ski slopes from 27 to 64 on 239 hectares, making the resort the largest in Asia.Jilin province, one of the top ski destinations in China, is well known for its powdery snow that lasts throughout the winter thanks to consistent frigid temperatures.The Jilin government said it aims to create a world-class ski industry as the developing winter sports industry has invigorated the province and is expected to become a new driving force behind its economy.

Soaking up Shanghai's historical vibes on Wukang Road

Wukang Road is one of the most famous roads in Shanghai. (Photo: CFP)Wukang Road is considered a popular tourist spot that visitors to Shanghai simply cannot miss. The 1.18-kilometer-long road is lined with 37 protected historical buildings that showcase the history and culture of the city.Built in 1907, Wukang Road features a series of buildings with diverse architectural styles, ranging from Mediterranean and French Renaissance, to Spanish and many more. The road is recognized as one of the National Historic and Cultural Streets of China.A view of the tree-lined Wukang Road in Shanghai. (Photo: CFP)Wukang Road was home to many celebrities. For example, No. 113 is the former residence of Ba Jin, a great Chinese writer who completed his work "Random Thoughts" at his Shanghai home. No. 393 is the former residence of Huang Xing, a revolutionary pioneer who often discussed social issues at his home with Sun Yat-sen. Scientist Charles Kuen Kao, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009, studied at the school on Wukang Road.The Wukang Building is the major landmark on Wukang Road. Formerly known as the Normandie Apartments, the building is shaped like a huge ship. The apartment block was designed by the Hungarian-Slovak architect Laszlo Hudec and was completed in 1924. It is now a protected historic building recognized around the world. The eight-story building is in the typical French Renaissance style, and it is the oldest veranda-style apartment building in Shanghai.The Wukang Building is located at the southern end of Wukang Road, Shanghai. (Photo: CFP)Whats more, Wukang Roads beautiful design and setting makes it an ideal location for films. In Ang Lees 2007 film "Lust, Caution," the road is the hero and heroines secret dating spot. The 2017 film "This is Not What I Expected," actor Takeshi Kaneshiro and actress Zhou Dongyu played out a romantic love story with Wukang Road as the backdrop.The historical and romantic...

Hungary welcomes back Chinese travelers

BUDAPEST, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Hungary welcomed its first group of Chinese tourists at the Budapest airport on Sunday after three years of COVID-19 pandemic-related hiatus.File photo: CFPThe group of 22 tourists, scheduled for a nine-day stay in Hungary, was greeted by officials from the Hungarian Tourism Agency and the Budapest Airport upon their arrival.The Chinese tourists were greeted by a local Hungarian in traditional folklore dress, and were each presented with gifts as a token of appreciation for choosing Hungary as their holiday destination.In recent years, Hungary has seen a steady increase of Chinese tourists, who were drawn to the countrys rich history, cultural landmarks, and natural beauty.The Hungarian government has made a concerted effort to boost tourism by introducing a range of initiatives for the Chinese nationals and promotional campaigns in China.In the past two months, many Chinese travel agencies have been actively developing new travel products for tours that focus on Hungary.

Chinese, Dutch airlines resume direct flights to Beijing

AMSTERDAM, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese, Dutch airlines resumed their direct flights from Amsterdam to Beijing on Sunday after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic.File photo: CGTNAt a boarding gate at Schiphol Airport to a fully-booked China Southern Airlines flight to Beijing, passengers were presented with colorful wooden tulip flowers as gifts to mark the memorable occasion.The passengers departed from the Schiphol Airport at 8:40 p.m. local time and were scheduled to arrive at Beijing Daxing International Airport after a 10-hour-flight.Wilco Sweijen, airline partnerships director at Schiphol Airport, told Xinhua that it was the first time that the airport was having flight between Beijing Daxing and Amsterdam."Were very happy with that, because now that the (Chinese) capital is connected again to Amsterdam. Thats great," said Sweijen, who was among airport representatives giving out tulip flowers to passengers.Mack Su, European sales manager of the Chinese airline, told Xinhua that the Amsterdam-Beijing route was disrupted in March 2020 due to COVID-19, and its resumption marked the airlines "comprehensive and accelerated recovery in the China-Europe market."The new Amsterdam-Beijing Daxing route will start from four weekly flights and increase in accordance with market demand, said Su. Besides the Beijing route, China Southern Airlines also operates flights between Amsterdam and Guangzhou, a metropolis in south China, four times a week.Also on Sunday, a flight of Dutch airline KLM left Schiphol Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport, marking the resumption of the KLMs flight route to Beijing disrupted by the pandemic.In an earlier press release, the Dutch airline said it marked the "recovery of the routes from and via Amsterdam to China. The Chinese market is important in KLMs network, due to demand from business travelers."Sweijen said that the number of flights between the Netherlands a...

A glimpse of heaven on earth: four most beautiful waterfalls in China

World Water Day was celebrated on March 22 to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation as the world grapples with climate change, shrinking resources, and other potential risks.In China, there are numerous stunning waterfalls, which not only provide an awe-inspiring sight but also play a vital role in the natural ecosystem.In this article, we will introduce you to Chinas four most beautiful waterfalls that have been compared to glimpses of heaven on earth.Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province (Photo: CFP)First on the list is Huangguoshu Waterfall, located in Anshun City, southwest Chinas Guizhou Province. It is one of Asias largest, measuring 77.8 meters in height and 101 meters in width. The thunderous sound of the water as it plummets into the natural pool below serves as an audiovisual sensation.Detian Waterfall in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Photo: CFP)Second on the list is Detian Waterfall, located on the border between China and Vietnam. Separated into three falls by rocks and trees, it ranks as the largest transnational waterfall in Asia. Its natural beauty, coupled with the surrounding karst landscape, is like a scene from a fairy tale.Hukou Waterfall in northern China (Photo: CFP)Hukou Waterfall is located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, which sits at the intersection of two easily confused provinces – Shanxi and Shaanxi. It is the largest yellow waterfall in the world. Its width changes with the season, however on average, it measures 30 meters in width by 20 meters in height. The roaring sound of the water as it plunges into the deep gorge is awe-inspiring, and the mist that rises from below adds to the areas mystical beauty.Jiuzhaigou Waterfall in Sichuan Province (Photo: CFP)Last but not least are the Jiuzhaigou Waterfalls, located in Sichuans Jiuzhaigou Valley. These comprise three main falls, namely the Pearl Shoal Waterfall, Nuorilang Waterfall and Shuzheng Waterfall, as well as some...

Holland's Keukenhof flower garden opens to visitors

LISSE, Netherlands, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The Keukenhof flower garden, a top tourist attraction in the Netherlands, opened its gates to the public on Thursday.A picture taken on April 12, 2016 shows tulips at the worlds largest bulb garden of Keukenhof in Lisse. (File photo: AFP)The garden, in the municipality of Lisse near Amsterdam, and is known for its millions of blooming tulips, daffodils and other bulb flowers, is a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike.This year, more than one million people from around the world are expected to visit the garden, which stays open until May 14."2023 is above all a welcome back to international visitors," said Jeroen Duyster, director of Keukenhof. "We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world again."The director told Xinhua that he was happy to learn that more Chinese tourists are traveling abroad as China lifted travel restrictions after it optimized its COVID-19 response."I hope they also visit Keukenhof, and see whats special," he said.The flower exhibition is a special event for global tourists to have connections with the Dutch culture, he said. "Thats beside the tulips."One of the highlights is that seven million flower bulbs were planted last winter to prepare for this years opening. "No machines were used, our gardeners hand-planted them," he said.Keukenhof was founded for Dutch flower farmers to show the world their products, and it has become a successful tourist attraction, he said. "So, this is a fabulous combination."

Laos eyes influx of Chinese tourists

VIENTIANE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Lao tourism authorities anticipate that around 368,000 Chinese nationals will visit Laos in 2023, an increase of 21 percent compared to 2022.City landscape of Luang Prabang. (File photo: VCG)The figure was cited at a meeting of the Department of Tourism Development of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism last Friday to discuss plans to prepare for the influx of Chinese tourists, Lao National TV reported on Monday.The Lao government and private sectors are preparing for the arrival of Chinese tourists after it was listed among countries greenlit by the Chinese government for outbound group tours.Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, some 1,022,727 Chinese tourists came to Laos in 2019, accounting for 21 percent of the total number of tourists. In 2022, 45,249 Chinese visitors came to Laos.Director General of the Tourism Development Department, Phonemaly Inthaphome, presented a draft plan on preparations for Chinese tourists which outlined the general situation and future outlook concerning the Chinese tourism market, preparations to welcome Chinese tourists, and the advantages and disadvantages concerning the surge in visitors coming to Laos.He instructed the Tourism Development Department and related sectors to improve tourism products and transform the tourism industry into a modern and efficient service provider in ways that respond to the needs of Chinese travelers.The China-Laos railway is a crucial factor in facilitating travel, while in the near future, new flights are planned between Vientiane and several cities in China to provide more routes for Chinese nationals to visit Laos, said the report.The meeting discussed ways to bolster Laos reputation as an attractive tourist destination, such as improving facilities, travel within the country, tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants, travel companies, tour guides, gift shops, services and security, as well as streamlining entry and exit procedures.

HK requires criminal record for talent scheme applicants

A “clear criminal record” has become a mandatory document in the application of visas for future talent admission schemes in Hong Kong, the Immigration Department (ImmD) of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced on Sunday.Following the adjustment of the application procedures of the Top T

Picturesque Taiyuan Ancient County 5 Photos

Picturesque Taiyuan Ancient County

The Zhang Yimou movie Full River Red was filmed in Taiyuan Ancient County, the newly built scenic tourism spot of Tiayuan, the capital and largest city of North China’s Shanxi Province. Taiyuan Ancient County was built on the ruins of the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) city of Jinyang. (Photos: Wu Yaxuan)The Zhang Yimou movie Full River Red was filmed in Taiyuan Ancient County, the newly built scenic tourism spot of Tiayuan, the capital and largest city of North China’s Shanxi Province. Taiyuan Ancient County was built on the ruins of the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) city of Jinyang. (Photos: Wu Yaxuan)The Taiyuan ancient county, Shanxi Province, where Zhang Yimou's film Full River Red was filmed, has a unique flavor. It has given birth to distinctive folk customs creating the most profound spiritual and emotional local culture in China. (Photos: Wu Yaxuan)The Zhang Yimou movie Full River Red was filmed in Taiyuan Ancient County, the newly built scenic tourism spot of Tiayuan, the capital and largest city of North China’s Shanxi Province. Taiyuan Ancient County was built on the ruins of the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) city of Jinyang. (Photos: Wu Yaxuan)The Zhang Yimou movie Full River Red was filmed in Taiyuan Ancient County, the newly built scenic tourism spot of Tiayuan, the capital and largest city of North China’s Shanxi Province. Taiyuan Ancient County was built on the ruins of the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) city of Jinyang. (Photos: Wu Yaxuan)

Airports in Shanghai see strong rebound in passenger throughput

SHANGHAI, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Two airports in the Chinese financial hub Shanghai saw marked increases in passenger throughput in January, thanks to Chinas optimized COVID response and entry-exit policies, the Shanghai Customs said Thursday.Passengers check in at the domestic departure section of Terminal 2 building of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport in east Chinas Shanghai, Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)In January, the passenger throughput at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport exceeded 2.6 million, up 37.5 percent year on year. Meanwhile, Shanghai Pudong International Airport handled over 2.8 million passenger trips, an increase of 34.2 percent from a year ago.The growth was propelled by an adjustment in response measures after China downgraded the management of COVID-19 from Class A to Class B on Jan. 8 and lifted certain epidemic-related restrictions on international passenger flights.The customs authorities said they have initiated a raft of measures to strengthen hygiene inspection and quarantine to further boost the full recovery of the aviation industry.

Zhuhai crossings to SARs gain popularity

A Zhuhai resident surnamed Chen had to line up for some time at the border checkpoint in Hengqin in the Zhuhai economic zone of Guangdong province before he and his family left for the Macao Special Administrative Region on Sunday.Passengers are seen at the Hengqin checkpoint. The checkpoint, as a major transit point of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, was put into operation on Aug 18, 2020. (Photo: China Daily)The departure lounge was crowded, said Chen."The weather was fine and I wanted to take our children to Macao for sightseeing and shopping, as I have not toured Macao for some years due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.Chen is just one of the soaring number of people who are going across the border to visit Macao and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region after the downgraded management of COVID-19.According to statistics revealed by the Zhuhai border inspection department, more than 1.58 million people and 230,000 vehicles had passed through Hengqin exit-entry port between Jan 8 and Sunday.The figures were 27.4 percent and 109.1 percent higher than in the same period of 2019 before COVID-19 broke out.Hengqin exit-entry port has registered more than 40,000 passenger visits and 6,000 vehicle visits a day for several consecutive days.A Macao resident surnamed Li said she drove across the border to Zhuhai to attend a music festival and she would drive home after the music festival ended on Saturday.The music festival, which was held in a Zhuhai park on Saturday, attracted more than 10,000 people from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, she said.Other exit-entry ports in Zhuhai have also been busy dealing with the growing number of travelers.Jiuzhou exit-entry port, which has a passenger ferry service to Hong Kong, has handled more than 20,000 passenger visits and 400 ferry visits since Jan 15. The number of passengers who leave and arrive in Zhuhai from Jiuzhou port has risen to more than 1,200 a day from 100 a day in early January....

Serbian president welcomes Chinese tourists at tourism fair

BELGRADE, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic extended his welcome to Chinese tourists Wednesday at the opening of the 44th Belgrade international tourism fair, where China is the guest of honor for the first time.Aerial photo taken on April 23, 2022 shows the Belgrade-Novi Sad section of the Belgrade-Budapest railway in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo: Xinhua)"I want to invite Chinese citizens to our country... I can guarantee them that nowhere in any other country in Europe will they be welcomed as cordially, with open arms and an open heart, as they will be welcomed in Serbia," Vucic said.From 2012 to 2019, the number of Chinese tourists in Serbia increased 30 times, Vucic said, adding that direct flights will attract even more Chinese tourists to Serbia, and vice versa.Serbia has made huge efforts to improve its tourism industry in recent years, he said. The countrys tourism income has increased by 3.5 times compared to 2012, and the number of tourist arrivals has doubled.Representatives from over 30 countries attended the fair, which has drawn 350 exhibitors. Over 100 local municipalities will also present their programs and tourist destinations."China and Serbia have two unique advantages for tourism cooperation: mutual visa exemption and direct flights," said Chinese Ambassador Chen Bo.Such cooperation has a broad prospect, as it will promote cultural exchanges between China and Central and Eastern European countries and boost economic development, said Chen."I look forward to seeing more Chinese tourists in Serbia and Central and Eastern European countries, and would like to welcome friends from all over the world to visit China," he added.During his performances at the opening ceremony, Serbian musician Jovan Trkulja mixed "Love Song of Kangding," a traditional Chinese folksong, with Serbian elements.

China encourages integrating intangible cultural heritage, tourism

File photo: XinhuaBEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinas Ministry of Culture and Tourism has ordered efforts to promote integrating the countrys intangible cultural heritages and its tourism industry wider and on a higher level.The ministry also stressed that such integration must apply on the condition that the cultural heritages are effectively protected, said a circular issued by the ministry, published on Wednesday.The circular listed eight primary tasks, including tourist product development, cultural ecology protection, fostering tourist routes with relevant features, and personnel training.The circular encouraged efforts to integrate intangible cultural heritages or relevant elements into tourist sites, including theme parks and hotels.The ministry also said it would select several popular intangible cultural heritage sites and venues with distinctive characteristics as national-level bases for intangible cultural heritage-related experiences.

South Korea to drop mandatory COVID-19 PCR test for Chinese arrivals from March

Tourists visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace in snow in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 3, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)South Korea will lift its mandatory COVID-19 PCR test for Chinese arrivals starting from March 1, Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.

Hidden Colombia canyon transformed from rebel route to tourist draw

For years, the crystal clear river flowing between giant boulders served as a strategic guerilla route in Colombias bloody armed conflict. A guide prepares inflatable rubber rings ahead of a new tour of the Guape Canyon, which was kept hidden from Colombians for years by the countrys armed conflict (Photo: AP)But today tourists bob happily down it in multi-colored inflatables, accompanied by birdsong and the rush of water.The Guape Canyon, a 35-meter (115-foot) deep natural wonder in the town of La Uribe in the southern Meta department, was hidden for decades by the fighting between Bogota and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).Its passageways -- illuminated by scant bars of sunlight that cross immense caves -- were rediscovered thanks to the historic peace agreement signed by the two sides in 2016.Now, instead of armed rebels, tourists float down its sometimes turbulent and sometimes serene waters. Some close their eyes and let themselves be carried away by the sounds and sensations of the jungle."Before, people used to pass through here armed with rifles.... To see this, the way it has changed, is impressive," says one of the guides, all young victims of violence, before embarking on a tour accompanied by an AFP photojournalist. La Uribe rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s as an enclave of the most powerful guerrillas on the continent. Anchored in the Eastern Plains, between the countrys Andean center and the Amazon, the town was the scene of one of the failed peace negotiations between the state and the FARC. It was also the epicenter of a bloody rebel onslaught that destroyed police and army stations. In 2017, after the peace deal was signed, the story took a turn. Rebels still in camouflaged uniforms and carrying rifles emerged from the thick jungle that hides the canyon to await their disarmament and transformation into a political party. "In spite of all the vicissitudes and problems that have been occurring for de...

Snow sports heats up tourism in Changbai Mountain

CHANGCHUN, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Business remains brisk these days at Meng Xianfangs restaurant in the Changbai Mountain area in northeast Chinas Jilin Province, running Meng off her feet all day long.File photo: CFP"Its already springtime. I didnt expect to still see these many tourists. This year, Changbai Mountain has had an exceptionally busy snow season," said Meng, who hails from Guosong village in Fusong County of Baishan City.Song Wei, a ski enthusiast from Shanghai, has been practicing skiing since January at Changbai Mountain Wanda International Resort in Fusong. "With the onset of spring, the sunshine feels warmer and skiing becomes merrier," Song said."I used to take ski vacations in Japan and Europe. Now Changbai Mountain has become my top vacation spot," she added.To ensure skiers have a pleasant stay, the Wanda resort has lately opened a number of tracks for off-piste skiing. It is also planning fun skiing activities and games."My friends and I chose to ski here in February. Weve managed to snag coupons issued by Jilin Province to boost consumption, which is really getting a good value for money," said Wang Yueqi, a tourist from another part of Jilin.Wang has vacationed in Changbai Mountain for 11 consecutive years. "I have witnessed the development here. Tour packages available today are quite inclusive, saving tourists a lot of trouble, and the facilities have also improved," she said.Located approximately 20 km away, the Changbai Mountain Luneng ski resort has also seen its tourist arrivals climbing since the Spring Festival, which fell on Jan. 22.For the current snow season, the resort has prepared the most popular ski and related safety gear while constantly improving its capacity to accommodate and serve tourists.During this years Spring Festival holiday, which ran from Jan. 21 to 27, Changbai Mountain made it to the top of a niche destination list, showed a report com...

Trump absent as Iowa 2024 GOP caucus train begins to roll

Nikki Haley is swinging through Iowa this week fresh off announcing her presidential campaign. Her fellow South Carolinian Republican, Sen. Tim Scott, will also be here as he decides his political future. And former Vice President Mike Pence was just in the state courting influential evangelical Christian activists.President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at the Knapp Center on the campus of Drake University, Jan. 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: AP)After a slow start, Republican presidential prospects are streaming into the leadoff presidential caucus state. Notably absent from the lineup, at least for now, is former President Donald Trump.Few of the White House hopefuls face the lofty expectations in Iowa that Trump does. He finished a competitive second to devout social conservative Ted Cruz in 2016, and went on to carry the state twice, by healthy margins, as the Republican presidential nominee in the 2016 and 2020 elections."It is genuinely impossible for this guy to try to manage these expectations," said Luke Martz, a veteran Iowa Republican strategist who helped lead Mitt Romneys 2012 Iowa caucus campaign. "They are enormous. They are self-made. I dont see how anyone who is saying Im the guy can come in and even get even a second-place finish."Yet, in the three months since he announced his bid for a comeback, Trump has not set foot in Iowa, the first place his claim of party dominance will be tested early next year.To be sure, Trump is making moves in Iowa. On Monday, his team announced it had named a state campaign director, Marshall Moreau, who managed the 2022 campaign of Republican attorney general candidate Brenna Bird. Bird defeated Democrat Tom Miller, who had been the longest-serving attorney general in the country, first elected in 1978.Trump has maintained an Iowa political presence, with a national campaign team member, Alex Latcham, based in the state. But Trump held a kickoff...

China's upcoming national cultural parks: The Great Wall

A view of the Simatai section of the Great Wall in Beijing. (Photos: CFP) Built by human hands over the course of more than 2,000 years, the Great Wall stretches for over 20,000 kilometers across the vast lands of northern China, not only standing as an enduring monument to the power of ancient Chinese civilization and an iconic symbol of the nation, but also ranking as one of the top wonders of the world as a universally-acclaimed feat of human engineering. This complex series of structures was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.A view of the Badaling section of the Great Wall in Beijing. Over the last few decades, continued efforts have been made regarding the conservation of this winding manmade barrier, including a series of national-level renovation, upgrading and restoration projects, and related cultural activities, in a bid to rejuvenate this precious cultural jewel of China.A view of the Simatai section of the Great Wall in Beijing. In 2019, China issued a plan outlining the construction of national cultural parks, with the aim of better preserving the much-cherished Great Wall, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the sites related to the Long March, in an integrated manner through its national park system.In 2021, a dedicated plan outlining the creation of the Great Wall National Cultural Park was announced, with the construction of the relevant parks and infrastructure to be completed by 2035 alongside a comprehensive system for their preservation and use.A view of the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall in north Chinas Hebei Province. In 2021, The UNESCOs World Heritage Committee praised the measures adopted by China to mitigate the threats to the Great Wall at its 44th session, making the Great Wall one of the only three World Heritage sites to be given such an honor.

Red cotton tree flowers welcome spring in South China's Hainan 6 Photos

Red cotton tree flowers welcome spring in South China's Hainan

Cotton tree flowers seemed anxious about the coming of spring, and have started blooming one by one on the branches on February 17, 2023, in Changjiang Li Autonomous County, South China's Hainan Province. (Photos: People's Daily/Shi Jiamin)Statistics show that the county on China's southernmost island province has received about 285,500 tourists and earned 114 million yuan (about $16.7 million) during this year's week-long Spring Festival holiday.The cotton tree is also known as red cotton tree. It is a tropical deciduous tree that has big reg flowers with five petals in spring before the new foliage appears on the branches. It gets its name from the capsule which contains white cotton-like fibers that it produces.Cotton tree flowers seemed anxious about the coming of spring, and have started blooming one by one on the branches on February 17, 2023, in Changjiang Li Autonomous County, South China's Hainan Province. Cotton tree flowers seemed anxious about the coming of spring, and have started blooming one by one on the branches on February 17, 2023, in Changjiang Li Autonomous County, South China's Hainan Province. Cotton tree flowers seemed anxious about the coming of spring, and have started blooming one by one on the branches on February 17, 2023, in Changjiang Li Autonomous County, South China's Hainan Province.

EU to phase out COVID tests for travelers from China

Chinese travelers arrive at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport on January 4, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo: CFP)EU countries have agreed to phase out COVID-19 restrictions on travelers from China, which they claimed were put in place to guard against possible new coronavirus variants after China reopened.Health experts from the 27 EU members agreed at a meeting on Thursday that they would end the requirement for negative pre-departure COVID tests by the end of February, the Swedish presidency of the EU said.They would also stop random testing of travelers from China by the middle of March.The moves were also agreed upon by non-EU members of the Schengen free travel zone: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.The countries agreed on the pre-arrival tests and post-arrival random checks on January 4, ahead of Chinas easing of its travel restrictions on January 8.The measures served only as a recommendation for EU members. Some countries, such as France and Italy, imposed mandatory COVID tests and virus sequencing for passengers coming from China, although Italy loosened its controls at the end of January.

Visa-waiver agreement between China, Maldives takes effect


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