Home > > China waives visas for France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia; Bay Area, Asean lift tourism | Daily Brief

China waives visas for France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Malaysia; Bay Area, Asean lift tourism | Daily Brief

11/24/2023| 5:33:05 PM| ChinaTravelNews

Thailand expects up to 3.5 million Chinese tourists this year, below target; China, US discuss further increase of flights.

China, US discuss further increase of flights

The head of China’s civil aviation regulator, Song Zhiyong, met with the U.S. Ambassador in Beijing Nicholas Burns, and exchanged views on pushing for a substantial increase in flights between the two countries, the regulator said on Wednesday. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) welcomes U.S. aviation-related enterprises to operate and develop in China, Song said. 

China waives visas for France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia  

China decides to unilaterally waive visas for France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia for one year. From December 1, 2023 to November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders from these 6 countries can enter China visa-free for up to 15 days. It applies to short-term visits up to 15 days by these 6 countries' citizens for business, tourism, visiting relatives and transit purposes.

Call for new strategy to entice Chinese visitors

Thailand needs to rejig its tourism strategy to reboot the Chinese market as arrivals from the mainland this year are projected to reach only 26.8% of the 2019 level, says a former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). From October 2023 until March 2024, flights between Thailand and China have recovered by 24.3%, with 16,330 flights compared with 67,062 flights in 2019.

Thailand expects up to 3.5 million Chinese tourists this year, below target

Thailand expects 3.4 to 3.5 million visitors from China this year, below its target, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said on Friday (Nov 24), despite rolling out a visa-free program to attract Chinese tourists. About 3.01 million Chinese tourists have visited the country so far this year, it said. China has been a key source market for Thailand's vital tourism industry, with 11 million Chinese visitors in pre-pandemic 2019, accounting for more than a quarter of all arrivals that year.

Greater Bay Area-Asean ties to lift tourism

The Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can deepen cooperation in heritage conservation to jointly promote sustainable tourism, officials and experts said at a conference on Nov 22. 

Cathay Pacific plans to recruit 5,000 more staffers in 2024 (in Chinese)

Cathay Pacific plans to recruit over 5,000 more staff next year, a 25% increase from current levels. Nearly 2,000 former employees have rejoined Cathay, with around 4,000 new hires this year, a 20% annual growth. With increased headcount, training activities have doubled this year and are expected to double again next year. 

The Hong Kong airline said it will report its first annual profit since 2019 as passenger volumes return to near pre-pandemic levels, cementing its financial rebound from the most damaging period in the airline’s history.

Sydney airport recovery surges with rising Chinese demand

The return of major Chinese carriers has put paid to any post-COVID aviation malaise in Australia, with both inbound and outbound passenger numbers rising and the actual likelihood of a very busy Christmas and summer holiday season. Equally as exciting is that the true impact of Chinese travel is not yet reflected in the numbers, given that organized group travel has only just returned between China and Australia.

Madrid Airport inaugurates new route with Wenzhou (China) operated by China Eastern

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport celebrates the launch of a new route linking Madrid directly to Wenzhou, China, operated by China Eastern Airlines. This route marks the first connection between Madrid Airport and Wenzhou Longwan International Airport.

Daxing airport-Tianjin rail link nears completion

An intercity high-speed rail line linking Beijing’s Daxing International Airport to Tianjin West Railway Station is nearing completion following testing in October, according to Tianjin Evening News and sources familiar with the rail link. The rail line, which will allow passengers to travel from Daxing Airport to Tianjin West in around 36 minutes time, will also connect to other cities along the way, including Langfang and Gu’an. Slated to be opened in December of this year, the line is part of a broader effort to integrate Beijing and Tianjin with Hebei province.

Accor introduces TRIBE NATION urban brand to China

Accor announced the signing of the first TRIBE NATION hotel in China, bringing a new urban lifestyle hospitality experience to modern and Gen Z Chinese travelers. Through a partnership with Guiyang Chengnan Investment and Development Company Ltd, TRIBE NATION Guiyang South will open in January 2025. The new 136-room TRIBE NATION hotel will offer an artfully curated, design-driven, and locally connected guest experience.

Japanese hotel group Hoshino holds event in Beijing (in Chinese)

Hoshino Resorts, a Japanese hotel group, held a press conference in Beijing to introduce the group's development and plans. The company currently operates over 60 hotels and resorts across Japan and its overseas markets. It launched youthful brands like OMO and BEB to capture market trends.

HK travel firm offers refund for the first client who finds live bedbugs in South Korea

A Hong Kong travel firm is offering a refund to the first customer who finds live bedbugs while traveling in South Korea, local media reported. Mr Simon Ma Sai-man, deputy general manager of Wing On Travel, said the move is aimed at regaining customers’ confidence in the company’s South Korean tour groups, following fears of a bedbug infestation in the country in recent weeks. The number of registrations for such tour groups dropped significantly in the past two weeks.

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