Home > > China emerges as Korea's No. 2 tourist source; Elon Musk's SpaceX buys Boeing 737 jet | Daily Brief

China emerges as Korea's No. 2 tourist source; Elon Musk's SpaceX buys Boeing 737 jet | Daily Brief

01/30/2024| 5:15:59 PM| ChinaTravelNews

Bookings for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand up 15 times; Beijing says construction of multibillion-dollar China-Thailand rail must be sped up.

Elon Musk's SpaceX buys a Boeing 737 from Air China

Business Insider reported that Elon Musk's SpaceX has bought a Boeing 737 that used to belong to Air China. A planespotter filmed the jet, registered as N154TS, landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday — where its unique grey livery attracted attention. The Boeing jet first entered service in 2002, when it was delivered to Air China. A decade later, Air China then converted the plane into a freighter. It's unclear whether it's still configured as such, or what SpaceX might be using it for.

COMAC plans to expand production of the C919 airliner

While Boeing deals with its ongoing problems with the 737 MAX family, Chinese manufacturer COMAC is starting to make bolder plans with the C919, a jetliner developed entirely in China. The aircraft, which has been in commercial service for just eight months, has had slow development. There are more than 1000 commitments to purchase the aircraft, the absolute majority from Chinese companies.

Beijing says construction of multibillion-dollar China-Thailand rail must be sped up

China and Thailand need to speed up the construction of a delayed, high-speed railway to link their countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Monday at the end of a three-day visit to Bangkok. The Thai PM, for his part, said Beijing’s loan of pandas to Thailand signified the warm ties between the two nations and he hoped China would soon send a giant member of that rare bear species to replace Lin Hui who died last April.

China emerges as South Korea's No. 2 tourist source market

The number of foreign tourists visiting South Korea last year exceeded 11 million, reaching 63% of the pre-COVID level. China emerged as the second largest source of foreign tourists visiting Korea in 2023, with a total of 2.02 million Chinese visitors. The figure underscores China's importance in the regional travel market, second after Japan. However, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, the recovery rate from China stood at 33.5%, indicating a slower rebound in travel from China to Korea relative to other countries. 

Korean travel industry to woo tourists from China, Middle East

Korea tourism officials and businesses are ramping up efforts to bring back Chinese tourists and attract more travelers from the Middle East. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Monday hosted a “2024 Inbound Trend” seminar with representatives from travel platforms like Trip.com, Expedia and Klook, along with industry big names such as Xiaohongshu, BC Card and Lotte Hotels and Resorts to discuss attracting more tourists from China and the Middle East.

Chinese tourists boost global travel market; Bookings for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand up 15 times

With China's opening-up measures, including visa exemptions, the Spring Festival holidays - running from February 10 to 17 - will see a wave of Chinese tourists traveling abroad, making China an important force in promoting the development of global tourism, experts said. The bookings of Chinese tourists traveling to the three countries during the Spring Festival holidays are up more than 15 times compared with 2023. 

Searches for hotels surge 4 times after China-Singapore mutual 30-day tourist visa-free policy is announced

Searches for hotels in Singapore on Chinese online travel platform Qunar.com surged 4 times after China and Singapore announced a 30-day mutual visa exemption arrangement for ordinary passport holders starting from February 9. According to VariFlight’s data, there have been a total of 712 flights flying between the Chinese mainland and Singapore in recent weeks, recovering to 97 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels, with more than 100 flights per day.

China mulls resumption of visa-free policy to Japan

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on January 29 that China is considering the requests from various sectors in Japan for resuming the visa-free policy, highlighting the importance of facilitating travel for Japanese citizens and expressing the hope for mutual efforts to ease cross-border travel between the two countries. "We will intensively look into the request from all sectors in Japan for resuming the visa-free policy to travel to China. We hope that Japan can work with us in the same direction to make cross-border travel between our two countries easier."

Hong Kong boosts tourism efforts, extends downtown airport check-in hours

Hong Kong will extend operating hours for its downtown airport check-in services as the city ramps up efforts to revive its tourism sector and reputation as an efficient travel hub. 

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