>> China's tourism recovery is heating up as some tours to Europe over the eight-day Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday, observed in about three weeks, are already sold out.
Spring Tour is taking no more reservations for some tours to Europe during the holiday that starts on Sept. 29, the Shanghai-based travel agency said to Yicai. Some of the hottest destinations include Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Iceland, and Denmark. Moreover, the lengthy visa processes require making bookings well in advance.
>> A Chinese-funded high-speed railway line in Indonesia started test runs on Thursday ahead of its commercial launch next month. The train will cut the travel time for the 142km (88-mile) journey between the capital Jakarta and Bandung, the capital of West Java province, from three and a half hours to 40 minutes.
>> Xiamen Airlines will start flying to Qatar in October, people familiar with the matter said, further strengthening aviation ties between China and the Middle East as air travel rebounds from the Covid crisis. The subsidiary of China Southern Airlines will partner with Qatar Airways on routes between Doha and Beijing and Xiamen, a port city in southeast China, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
>> Sino-Singapore Chongqing Airport Commercial Management Co., Ltd, the joint venture set up by Changi Airports International (CAI) and Chongqing Airport Group (CAGC) to manage the non-aeronautical business at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, has hailed the opening of the ‘Starry Galleria’ multi-brand, multi-retailer zone on Sunday.
The partners are also preparing to mark five years of collaboration later this year and have announced ambitious plans to further develop together.
>> Pakistan is keen to attract Chinese outbound tourists to the scenic and historic sites of the country by adopting new plans to welcome them, caretaker Minister of State for Tourism Wasi Shah said. They have introduced different tour plans and translated them into Chinese language to give Chinese tourists basic information about Pakistani tourism sites and offer them different packages to visit Pakistan on short and long trips. He added that in order to facilitate Chinese tourists, Pakistan has formed an E-portal through which Chinese tourists can also now apply for tourist visas online.
>> Since the Chinese government allowed its citizens to participate in group tours to South Korea last month, Chinese travel industry representatives have visited South Korea in significant numbers for the first time. This visit is reported to be part of a survey to develop South Korean travel packages.
According to duty-free industry sources on Wednesday, more than 130 people from around 100 travel agencies, including China's Strait International Travel Services, arrived at Incheon International Ferry Terminal the previous day. Du Xianzhong, President of the China Association of Travel Services, was also part of the visiting delegation.
>> China’s inbound travel industry welcomes the lifting of all pre-entry Covid-19 testing requirements, which came into effect on August 29, but the road to recovery remains challenging, they say. Members of the industry told TTG Asia that China has become less attractive as it is now more expensive due to competition from a strong domestic market that is willing to pay. In addition, tourism businesses are still grappling with reduced inventory, manpower issues and the aftermath of the pandemic.
>> Having welcomed a rising number of Chinese tourists since the beginning of this year, Australia's peak tourism body is upbeat about a further boost coming from its number one market, especially after China announced the resumption of group tours to several overseas destinations.
“We are pleased to see that Chinese travelers have been returning to Australia in a growing number since the start of the year and can't wait to welcome many more back in the coming months and years,” Managing Director of Tourism Australia Phillipa Harrison told Xinhua in a written interview.