Winter tourism campaign starts in Tibet on Jan 1

The Tibet autonomous region will launch a new round of its Winter Tour Campaign on Jan 1 to attract more tourists to the region in the winter time, according to a statement released by the regional department of tourism development recently. The campaign will run until March 13.The Potala Palace stands in the center of Lhasa. [Photo by Phenthok/For]The department said the winter tour will offer bonuses for certain businesses supporting tourism in Tibet. Tickets to visit the Potala Palace in Lhasa and other scenic sites in the region will be free. Visitors will only need to show their IDs for entry during the period.Some designated hotels and tourism transport companies will implement the off-season winter price model. Hostels and airline companies meeting requirements will benefit from bonuses and subsidies offered by the government.Tibet is a major tourist destination for tourists from around the world, but it has seen fewer visitors during winter months, with tourism-related businesses remaining closed for months in the past.This has changed in the last few years. After Tibet launched its first Winter Tour Campaign in February 2018, it has been offering differential pricing on tourism products, including free entry to several scenic spots, hefty discounts on hotels, flights and transportation in winter.During the Spring Festival holiday earlier this year, Tibet received more than 438,000 domestic and overseas tourists, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year, Tibet Commerce Daily reported.During the same period, tourists spent 315 million yuan ($45 million), a 46 percent jump over the previous year.Wang Songping, head of the regional tourism development department, said the upcoming tourism campaign will promote demand and help the region to revitalize its tourism industry."We expect that more tourism-related operations in the region will see more business opportunities with the campaign," Wang said.

Return of Chinese tourists anticipated after China relaxes travel rules

A boom in Chinese tourists is expected to return in parts of the world in 2023 after China announced plans to remove restrictions imposed on international travel in early January. Although Chinese tourists may be gradual in their pace to go overseas again, a few countries said they are preparing for their return.Chinese tourists wear masks as they arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, in Jan 22, 2020. (File photo via China Daily)“Chinese friends, France is welcoming you with open arms!” said a post by the official account of the French Embassy in China on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo on Tuesday.A dozen countries’ tourism authorities including those of Thailand, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and Spain followed suit to express their anticipation of Chinese tourists.“Three years already. Amazing Thailand has been waiting for you for three years,” read another post by the Weibo account of the Thai Tourism Authority.The Thai government is gearing up to welcome Chinese tourists back after China lifted curbs on overseas travel. According to the Bangkok Post, the country’s ministers of transport, tourism, and public health will meet next week on measures to prepare for the return of Chinese tourists. The initial measures include an increase in flight arrangements to popular destinations and enabling key airports’ ground handling of an increase in passengers.Chinese residents reacted swiftly to Monday’s announcement on the easing of international travel. Bookings for outbound flights surged by 254 percent on Tuesday morning compared to the same period the day prior, according to data compiled by travel group The top five destinations were Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand.Shares in European luxury retailers also rallied on Tuesday after the news of the relaxation of travel restrictions, in hopes of a recovery from spending by Chinese tourists visiting Europe.Some countries, however, are taking a cautious ap...

Asia's tourist hotspots prepare for boom as China relaxes COVID rules

People wait in the Tsukiji "outer fish market" area in Tokyo on December 28, as foreign tourists and locals visit ahead of the New Years holiday. (Photo: AFP)Asian countries are bracing for an influx of Chinese tourists as COVID restrictions are dismantled, and while some are wary, operators in others are preparing packages such as hotpot buffets to cash in on the expected spike in travel.Chinese tourists will no longer need to quarantine on return home starting from January 8, the government announced this week, a move that spurred a surge in bookings from what was the worlds largest outbound travel market in 2019.The once US$255 billion a year in global spending by Chinese tourists ground to a virtual halt during the pandemic, leaving a gaping hole in the Asian market, where countries from Thailand to Japan had depended on China as the largest source of foreign visitors.International flights to and from China are at just 8 percent of pre-pandemic levels, VariFlight data shows, but carriers are looking to ramp up capacity as authorities ease COVID-driven limits on the number of flights."There is little doubt Chinese mainlanders are the spark plug for Thailands tourism recovery," said Bill Barnett, managing director of hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks. "Its not a question of if it will happen, its now just a matter of how many and how fast."Malaysia Airlines and Vietnamese budget carrier VietJet Aviation said they hope to restore China flights to pre-pandemic levels by June 2023, while others such as Singapore Airlines and Australias Qantas Airways declined to provide detailed targets as the situation evolves.Chinese airlines are likely to make significant increases to capacity from the end of March, coinciding with the start of the summer scheduling season, Morningstar analyst Cheng Weng told clients in a note.Rebound with a vengeanceThe prospect of Chinese flocking to shopping streets acros...

Shanxi salt lake from above

An aerial photo shows a colourful view of of the Salt Lake in Yuncheng, Shanxi province. [Photo provided to] Recently, a group of aerial photos of the Salt Lake in Yuncheng, Shanxi province presented a unique and gorgeous landscape in the cold winter days. Under the sun, various

Train tickets go on sale for Spring Festival travel rush

Passenger booking ticket through a ticket vending machine at Shenyang Railway Station, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China, December 24, 2022. /CFP Train tickets for China's upcoming Spring Festival travel rush went on sale on Saturday, according to the China State Railway

Train tickets to go on sale for Spring Festival travel rush

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Train tickets for Chinas upcoming Spring Festival travel rush will go on sale on Saturday, according to the countrys railway operator.Passengers queue up to board the train G868 at Ruian Railway Station in Ruian, East Chinas Zhejiang province, Jan 17, 2022. (File photo: Xinhua)The travel rush, usually a period with high transportation demand as people return home to celebrate the Spring Festival, will run from Jan. 7 to Feb. 15 in 2023.Chinas railway authorities will step up efforts to coordinate COVID-19 prevention and control with transportation work to improve the quality of railway transportation during the travel rush, according to the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd.With the optimization and adjustment of Chinas COVID-19 response, it is estimated that the number of passenger trips via the countrys railway network will increase as people plan trips for family reunions and tourism, the railway operator said.Goods transportation will also see an upward trend during the period amid enterprises work resumption and the growing demand for coal transportation to ensure power supply in winter.Chinas railway system will constantly optimize its COVID-19 response and transportation services to improve passengers travel experiences, the railway operator added.

Rural homestays prosper in tranquil surroundings

Visitors to the homestay owned by Li Xiumei and her husband at the foot of Tianmu Mountain in Zhejiang province relax with family members and friends. (Photo provided to China Daily)Camping facilities, weddings among services on offerLi Xiumei considers herself a lucky player in the domestic tourism market that has borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.Despite reports of confirmed cases across the country, Lis homestay in Zhejiang province continues to attract visitors — most of whom come from nearby cities — with its distinctive design and pastoral charm."Weve managed to keep our booking rate above 80 percent during major holidays this year," Li said.For the seven-day National Day holiday, which began on Oct 1, her homestay was fully booked."Most of the guests just wanted to spend time chilling out in peaceful surroundings, drinking tea and chatting with their family members and friends," Li said.Three years ago, she and her husband, who are both in their 30s, decided to turn their old rural home at the foot of Tianmu Mountain into an idyllic getaway.They hired professionals, and now provide a combination of eastern Chinese elegance and warmth for guests.The old house was preserved, a new building was constructed to the side, and the entire site now comprises four courtyards. The original rammed earth walls are clad with recycled bricks, and the wooden structures are exposed on the inside, enabling guests to trace the history of the house.Moreover, the living room features a large skylight, while the swimming pool and courtyards are lined with trees, through which visitors glimpse distant villages.Since it opened in 2019, the homestay has drawn numerous visitors, with guests sharing their experiences on social media and through word of mouth.Gong Jian and his friends in a choir from Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, have made several visits to Lis homestay. "It feels great singing together outdoors in the village, and our son...

Yuyuan Garden ready to host annual lantern show

The annual Yuyuan Garden Lantern Show will begin on December 26 and will last for 52 days. (Photo provided to of the most anticipated entertainment events of the year, the annual Yuyuan Garden Lantern Show will begin on December 26 and will last for 52 days, longer than previous editions, so as to allow more people to enjoy the colorful scenes.The lantern festival, which was included in Chinas list of national intangible cultural heritages in 2008, is a staple in Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. It is a tradition in Chinese culture to admire lanterns and catch cultural performances during the Chinese New Year, which will next take place on Jan 22, 2023.In Shanghai, the most iconic venue to do this is Yuyuan Garden, a major scenic spot in downtown Huangpu district which has been holding lantern shows for 28 years.The latest edition of the show is inspired by the Shan Hai Jing, or The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a major source of Chinese mythology that dates back more than 2,000 years ago. The work to design these lanterns started as early as in April, according to the organizers.During the show, a large collection of lanterns depicting animals, dragon, flowers and rare plants mentioned in ancient tales will be showcased at the Jiuquqiao area, or zigzag bridge, in Yuyuan Garden.Another cluster of lanterns will be positioned within the Center Plaza and themed on the Year of the Rabbit. Here, visitors will find a huge white rabbit flying to the moon palace as it turns its head to look at Kun, an enormous fish that could change into a roc, another magical animal mentioned in the Shan Hai Jing.Meanwhile, the Center Plaza and Gold Plaza will also be filled with a multitude of auspicious animal lanterns.Admission to the lantern festival is free except for the following periods: Dec 31 to Jan 2, Jan 22 to 28, and Feb 1 to 5. Tickets can be purchased online or at the booths around the Yuyuan Garden. Prices range from 30 to 80 yuan.

Panoramic tourist train begins trials in Yunnan

The worlds first panoramic tourist train customized by CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, recently started no-load trial operations in Lijiang, a tourist city in Yunnan province. (Photo: worlds first panoramic tourist train customized by CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, recently started no-load trial operations in Lijiang, a tourist city in Yunnan province.The train, dubbed the Mirror of the Sky, will officially begin operating between the ancient city of Lijiang and Yulong Snow Mountain, a famous scenic spot in Yunnan, after three months of trials, authorities said.It will take only 20 minutes for tourists to arrive in Yulong Snow Mountain from the tourist distribution center in Lijiangs urban area, they said.Tourists can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery along the railway line, authorities said.The first phase of the railway reached 20.8 kilometers and was designed to reach a speed of 70 kilometers per hour.Construction of the project, which links Baisha, Yushuizhai, Dongbagu and Ganhaizi in Yunnan to Yulong Snow Mountain, began in September 2020.It is the first urban rail transit line in Lijiang, a World Cultural Heritage city, and also a special tourist railway line connecting Lijiang with Yulong Snow Mountain, a 5A scenic spot.Construction of the special tourist track has overcome many difficulties, including unfavorable geology, high altitude and a fragile ecological environment in snowy mountains over the past two years and two months to reach the trial operation phase, a senior executive from CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive said.

New plateau airport set to open in Xinjiang

URUMQI, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A new plateau airport will be inaugurated in northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday, according to the Xinjiang branch company of China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd.A road roller is at work at the construction site of the Taxkorgan Airport in Kashgar Prefecture, northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, June 3, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)Located in the Tajik Autonomous County of Taxkorgan, the new airport will be the westernmost airport in China and the first plateau airport of the region.The airports passenger throughput and cargo volume will reach 160,000 and 400 tonnes annually, respectively.

The 39th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is around the corner

Located in the heartland of Northeast Asia, Harbin enjoys superior natural conditions, a special urban history and unique ice and snow culture. It is an international metropolis where different cultures meet and interact. People here live in harmony and learn from each other, and have created a dive

Family snow tours become popular and have big room for growth

CHANGCHUN, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Childrens peals of laughter have been echoing on the Changchun Tianding Mountain Ski Field since the weekend morning. Among the "snow angles", four-year-old Zhang Yiyi was gamboling after skiing down the slope on her first resort visit.Zhangs mother Bi Jiaxin said that the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics sparked her daughters motivation for participating in snow skiing. Like the Zhangs, more and more families are going out to experience snow sports with the convenience of transportation.According to Ma He, Sales Director at Tianding, family snow tours became a popular choice as the resort sees a new high in snow beginners aged from three to four. The cartoon-style snow gear has been scattered at the first ski resort in Northeast Chinas Jilin Province since its reopening on November 11.Liu Yuzhuo, Director of underage winter sports camps at the Jilin Ice and Snow Experimental Zone Beidahu Ski Resort, recalled that they have been organizing camps for 3 to 15 years olds with sport-education backgrounds since 2010.XiaoBoLuo is a famous ski influencer on Chinese social media Douyin. Influenced by the ski-coach father, XiaoBoLuo has developed several breathtaking tricks through her snowboarding training at Beidahu. "Snow kids" like XiaoBoLuo, who was led into snow sports by her parents since young, are not individual cases anymore."We enjoy snow sports, and our children are supposed to have a bigger passion. This winter, I not only bought myself a new set of ski equipment but also enrolled my child in a winter camp. We can have fun together while taking care of the kid." said Tian Yang, a snow sports enthusiast from Changchun.Tian Yang found that a number of ski clubs he subscribed to have been promoting winter camps and family activities on WeChat beginning in November. "I got my child registered on my sixth attempt that the previous five camps were all full."Adult beginners are also ...

Restoration offers gateway to the past


Counties in Yunnan aided with tourism projects

China Tourism Group has put into about 61.93 million yuan ($8.86 million) in aid programs to Ximeng and Menglian counties in Pu'er city, Southwest China's Yunnan province since 2003.[Photo provided to] Since 2003, China Tourism Group has put into about 61.93 million yuan ($8.86

Charter flights help college students return home

Students check in at an airport in Chongqing to fly home for the winter holidays. [Photo provided to] As Chongqing began to embrace normalcy as COVID-19 controls relax, local airlines have been operating customized flights to help college students return home for the winter holi

Sanya sees threefold increase in flight and hotel bookings

Sanya, a seaside resort city in south China's Hainan Province, has seen a threefold increase in air and hotel bookings since the coronavirus control measures were relaxed.

Unique winter scene in cold weather

Photo: VCGThe winter of this year was extremely cold in Dalian, Liaoning Province, and some people noticed that the sea near Dalian appeared to be smoking hot despite the weather being clearly cold.Dalian Ocean University, Marine Science and Technology and Environmental College Professor Song Jun said, this phenomenon is called evaporative fog. Due to the high temperature of seawater, the evaporated water vapor will be supersaturated when it meets colder air, and water molecules will precipitate out. If there are condensation nuclei, water droplets or ice crystals will be formed to float in the air. Therefore, there are two necessary conditions for this phenomenon, first, the seawater and the air at the surface should have a temperature difference of more than 15 ℃, and the air is colder than the seawater, so this situation is usually accompanied by a windy process. Second, with condensation nuclei.On November 14, the first freezing fog landscape of this winter appeared in Jilin Province. Many people think that freezing fog is a phenomenon unique to the northeast, but in fact, it also occurs in many areas in southern China, such as the alpine areas of Chongqing, Guizhou, Guangxi, Anhui and other places.Yun Tian, a senior engineer at Jilin Meteorological Bureau, said that fog freeze is mainly formed by ice crystals on objects with temperatures below freezing point as the white opaque grain-like structure of deposits. It is formed by the process when supercooled water mist, that is, water mist with a temperature lower than 0°C, collides with an object that is also lower than the freezing temperature, then freezing fog is formed.Cold weather also affects rivers, and as the temperature drops, rivers can also experience ice run dates. Ice run date is the flow of ice and river water together before the river freezes over. It is crystal clear and looks beautiful, but it is also a hidden danger. Once the flooding starts, it will form a disaster, the flooding will be sudden,...

Airline works to help students get home


As energy bills rise, Greece tries to tempt winter tourists to the sun

As energy costs rise across Europe, some people are taking an opportunity to head off to warmer climates in order to cut down on bills. Greece is one of a number of countries trying to draw visitors in for the winter – with

Sri Lanka aims to attract 1.5 mln tourists in 2023, 3 mln in 2024

COLOMBO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka aims to attract around 1.5 million foreign tourists next year and 3 million travelers in 2024, a minister said on Friday.Photo: CGTNTourist arrivals have improved in the last few months, Minister of Tourism Harin Fernando told the local media, adding that several airlines are scheduled to commence flights into the South Asian country.Tourism, one of Sri Lankas leading foreign exchange earners, has suffered a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic and political crises in the country.While tourism has recovered somewhat in Sri Lanka, the recovery is lower than its regional competitors.Sri Lankas neighbor the Maldives has been welcoming over 100,000 tourists on a monthly basis for the past months, while tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have been ranging from 30,000 to 60,000, official statistics showed.

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