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Archive for the ‘Tourism’ Category

 

Travel and Tourism Newsletter – June 2010

June 8, 2010 | Written by rfasia

Welcome to Ruder Finn’s travel and tourism newsletter.

With this newsletter, we aim to provide our clients and others in travel and tourism industry with a broad overview of the latest trends and newest regulations related to the Chinese travel and tourism industry.

This month, a variety of new trends are shaping the industry:

You will find the full newsletter below. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your comments and suggestions. We would especially appreciate them in light of our new format. Also, please do let us know if you do not wish to receive this newsletter at my email, oliynyks@ruderfinnasia.com, or by return email.

Best regards,
Shari Oliynyk
Director, Travel & Tourism

About Ruder Finn China’s Travel and Tourism Experience

Over the past 12 years, Ruder Finn China has developed and implemented numerous multi-faceted public relations programs in the travel and tourism sector. Ruder Finn’s work on behalf of international clients includes projects and programs promoting countries, airlines, resorts and major tourist destinations.

Ruder Finn China’s travel and tourism experience, combined with its worldwide track record, offers its clients a combination of truly knowledgeable local and international teams, delivering results that meet their needs and objectives – on time and on budget. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your requirements. Our contact information is indicated at the beginning of this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you!

Travel Industry News

Yangtze River Delta outbound travel has entered second stage

Significantly more internet users searching for information on World Expo travel

China’s tourism confronted by insufficient stamina

“Internet users’ on-line behaviors survey 2010” released

Travel becomes most important leisure activity

Sogou.com introduces innovative travel product “E-Campers”

Each Travel Cooperates with Self Drive Club

Heating up competition in on-line travel market

MasterCard survey: 22% Chinese consumers have outbound travel plans in the next six months

Asia becoming an emerging power source of luxury travel

International SOS Helps China Establish Standards

Crowds at World Expo a double-edged sword

China Consumer and Economic News

China’s New Middle Class: Constants and Variables

China’s leisure industry realizes growth in 2009

Visa, Unionpay’s Dispute to Cost Users

China Inflation Rises to a 19-Month High

Google Asks for Government Pressure on China

Environmental Cost of Shark Finning Is Getting Attention in Hong Kong

China’s netizens hooked on social media

Destination News

Melbourne bureau to appoint China manager

NZ targets improvements in Chinese tour group experiences

The U.S. Department of State announces changes to the U.S. nonimmigrant visa application fee

Hawaii to launch a new MICE website in September; the state looks forward to attracting 60000 Chinese tourists in 2010

Asian celebrity Jerry Yan shoots photo album in Australia

Tourism Australia Partners With China Southern Airlines

US Tourism Roadshow in China in July

Airline/Aircraft News

China Spurs Boeing Orders, But Risks Loom

Lan Airlines appoints GSA in Beijing and Shanghai

Travel Industry News

Yangtze River Delta outbound travel has entered second stage

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 2, 2010

On May 28, it was announced by the Yangtze River Delta Outbound Travel Market Report released at the Outbound Travel Forum 2010 by the Shanghai World Travel Resource Congress, that consumers are getting more rational and mature about outbound travel, and thus outbound travel in the Yangtze River Delta has entered the second stage, featuring tourists experiencing the world and individuation in terms of purchasing.

Significantly more internet users searching for information on World Expo travel

www.hsw.cn, June 2, 2010

Since its opening of, the Shanghai World Expo tour has become a mainstream feature of the domestic travel market. According to data.baidu.com, increasing numbers of internet users have been searching for information on Expo travel.

China’s tourism confronted by insufficient stamina

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 3, 2010

On May 30, this reporter learnt from China Tourism Development Trends and Topics Forum that China’s travel competitiveness has reach a level comparable to the global median, ranking 47th in the world, up from the previous 62nd. However, China’s tourism features low consumption tendencies; for instance, the spending per capita on domestic travel was only RMB535.4 last year. Experts warn that the travel consumption growth per capita is noticeably slower than the increase of the actual price level, signalling thus that China’s tourism may soon be confronted by insufficient stamina.

“Internet users’ on-line behaviors survey 2010” released

www.xinhuanet.com, June 3, 2010

According to “internet users’ on-line behaviors survey 2010” released by UUidea.com, travel has become a popular leisure activity of internet users, who prefer open tours and do-it-yourself travel. Internet users trust travel websites with reasonable schedules and clear charges and online payment using web-based banks are increasingly used.

Travel becomes most important leisure activity

www.ce.cn, June 3, 2010

According to the Leisure Green Book released by the National Tourism Administration, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Social Sciences Academic Press, travel has become the most important leisure activity for both urban and rural residents.

Sogou.com introduces innovative travel product “E-Campers”

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 8, 2010

On June 4, Sogou.com introduced an innovative travel product “E-Campers,” which gained attention from travel industry and relative media. This new product is low carbon, environmentally friendly, green travel, self-driven tours, outdoor sports, camping and many other popular culture elements.

Each Travel Cooperates with Self Drive Club

Travel Weekly China, June 10, 2010

Each Travel-Shenzhen CITS, a traditional tourism enterprise in China, has entered a strategic cooperation agreement with Ren Che Xing Self Drive Club.

The two sides will jointly create a new entity, Each Travel-Ren Che Xing Self Drive Club, aiming to make use of their own advantages to achieve better market appeal and competitiveness.

An official from Each Travel said personalized forms of travel are now becoming more and more popular in China along with the continuous development of the economy and the increase of personal income. The private car population in Shenzhen is now beyond 1.2 million, while self drive is occupying a larger and larger proportion in tourism market.

Heating up competition in on-line travel market

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 11, 2010

In 2009, the revenue of on-line travel market in China was RMB3.89 billion, up 32.3% from last year, while in 2010, it is expected to reach RMB4.75 billion. Major on-line travel enterprises are at present striving to gain more market share.

MasterCard survey: 22% Chinese consumers have outbound travel plans in the next six months

Shanghai Securities News, June 12, 2010

According to a survey by MasterCard, a quarter of consumers in the Asia Pacific region have holiday travel plans in the next six months. Japan, Australia and China are the most popular travel destinations in Asia Pacific region. Travel spending by mainland China consumers is expected to rise steadily.

Asia becoming an emerging power source of luxury travel

Travel Weekly China, June 17, 2010

The Asia region has become an emerging power source of luxury travel, as Asian elites’ consumption confidence continuously improving and their purchasing power reaching a new level, according to a survey conducted by China Economic Weekly.

International SOS Helps China Establish Standards

China CSR, June 23, 2010

The China National Tourism Administration has signed a cooperation agreement with International SOS to jointly draw up national standards for travel emergency assistance services.

The standards will make clear specifications on personnel, facilities and services of tourism reception bodies and professional relief agencies, and will help to create an emergency assistance system in China and to improve the security level of the tourism industry.

International SOS is the world’s leading international healthcare, medical assistance, and security services company, and has extensive experience in traveler assistance. It will organize an expert group to draw up the guidelines based on: research on the current situation in China, other countries’ experience, and comments from other assistance agencies and experts.

Crowds at World Expo a double-edged sword

July 2, 2010

Love it or hate it: crowds are buoying Shanghai’s tourism industry

But while visitors tackle the crowds at the Expo, China’s hotel industry is reaping the benefits, with Shanghai’s hotel market finally picking up after two downcast years.

In May 2010, STR Global said average room rates reached nearly RMB 1000 (US$147.3), a level not seen since October 2008.

Occupancy during the month exceeded those recorded in 2007, hitting 72 percent while room rates hiked 29 percent year-on-year. RevPAR was RMB700 for the market, a number not seen since November 2007 and a staggering 99 percent increase on May 2009.

Even the top-tier hotel market has benefited, with the 5 star market reporting occupancy of 79 percent at an average rate of RMB 2,091 for the month of May, resulting in RevPAR growth of 105 percent compared to May 2009.

China Consumer and Economic News

China’s New Middle Class: Constants and Variables

Huffington Post, May 29, 2010

China’s middle class, a modern force with timeless cultural imperatives, will reshape the world. To harness its spending power, marketers must realize that becoming modern and international is not tantamount to becoming “Western.”

If we define the lower edges of the middle classes as households earning 5,000 RMB a month (around USD 1,400 on an adjusted Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis) and the core middle classes as those earning 20,000 RMB a month (about USD 5,700 on an adjusted PPP basis), then we see that this is a very penny pinched middle class. There are around 125 million people that probably fall within the category, basically, anyone that is not struggling for day to day survival. It’s important to note, however, that China is still far away from being a middle class society.

More subtly, on an emotional level, there is a sense that there are certain, essential rites of passage to middle class-dom, such as homes, diamond rings, education, car ownership and other expenditures that are needed in order to cross that threshold. But these items are expensive, incomes are limited and disposable incomes remain low, yet these are necessities and need to somehow be paid for.

Travel is now also a marker of success and is a new dimension of what it means to be middle class, showing that you are on the journey, literally and figuratively!

Given their level of income the Chinese have an excuse not to be buying luxury goods, but luxury is so externalised it enables inconspicuously conspicuous consumption, i.e. to show off without being seen to do so. There is a craftsmanship to selling products in China, it’s communicating how your product will help the owner solidify their status, but avoiding clichés.

What is absolutely not happening is the Chinese middle class becoming western, they are becoming modern, they are becoming internationalised, but they are not becoming western. Every product that charges a premium needs to be a tool for social advancement. In China the product is a means to an end, the message driver has to be that this product will make you noticed and help you on your journey upwards.

Chinese consumers are becoming more educated about quality and are ruthless quality hunters; they are becoming much more demanding about quality, which is normal as the middle class evolves.

There is now much more of a need and a growing desire for self-expression and to liberate oneself, which is one reason why digital has become so fundamental, the new generation is using digital to have a more expressive life.

The digital revolution is also becoming so fundamental to the way the Chinese express themselves and define their identity, but needs are needs and they are now starting to demand better quality services.

China’s leisure industry realizes growth in 2009

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 4, 2010

According to the Leisure Green Book, China’s leisure related industries maintained rapid levels of growth despite the overbearing backdrop of the 2009 financial crisis, while travel has become an important leisure activity for Chinese people.

Visa, Unionpay’s Dispute to Cost Users

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 8, 2010

Visa said on Thursday that it would stop banks using China Unionpay’s system to settle international transactions with bank cards bearing the Visa and Unionpay logos. Media reports state that member institutions could face hefty fines from Visa in the event that they disobey these regulations. However, China Unionpay told Xinhua on Wednesday that no party has the right to restrict the payment channels that bank card holders choose to use. According to Visa’s rules, those using the Visa-Unionpay card outside of the Chinese mainland will face a one to two percent currency transfer fee on each purchase.

China Inflation Rises to a 19-Month High

New York Times, June 11, 2010

New data from China on Friday cemented the view that the country’s giant economy powered ahead in May — though a marked rise in inflation also raised the pressure on Beijing to slow the booming pace of growth.

Consumer prices rose at their fastest rate in 19 months, at a pace of 3.1 percent from a year earlier, the report said. And inflation could accelerate if more Chinese workers are successful in their efforts to get higher wages.

Industrial production and retail sales also grew forcefully, figures showed Friday, while data out on Thursday revealed imports and exports both topped analyst expectations by a wide margin. Property prices continued to soar in May.

Combined, the figures raised speculation among analysts that the Chinese authorities would have to intensify their efforts to tame the pace of growth and the unwanted side effect of inflation.

Tools at China’s disposal include a gradual rise in interest rates and an appreciation for the renminbi, which has been effectively tied to the dollar since late 2008, at what many observes say is an artificially weak level to help Chinese exporters compete internationally.

The timing of any such policy moves remains unclear, and the Chinese statistics office on Friday stressed that it believed inflation would wane again after rising above the 3 percent mark in May.

Economists at the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said in a note to investors Friday that recent strikes “suggest that wage hikes will spread across industrial sectors, placing pressures on firms to raise prices on their final products” and that “inflation is far from its peak.”

It is time for the Chinese central bank “to switch its policy priority from controlling credit to raising interest rates in order to counter the risk of runaway inflation,” the bank said in its note.

Google Asks for Government Pressure on China

Global Times, June 12, 2010

Google Inc.’s top lawyer said Wednesday that the world’s leading search engine is asking the U.S. and European governments to press China to lift Internet censorship, describing it as an unfair barrier to free trade.

Environmental Cost of Shark Finning Is Getting Attention in Hong Kong

New York Times, June 20, 2010

Unluckily for sharks, the soup brewed from their fins is considered a must-have at Chinese wedding banquets and corporate dinners. For the Chinese, the delicacy is a matter of wealth, pride and prestige.

But the question of whether to eat shark’s fin soup has finally begun to gain traction with the Hong Kong public, spawning Internet discussion and campaign groups. The debate here could well influence the survival of numerous shark species.

And it puts the spotlight on the evolving environmental attitudes of the world’s most populous nation: China. China’s huge economy is booming. So what Chinese consumers buy and eat matters — on a global scale.

Researchers estimate that 100 million sharks are killed each year, some 73 million of them for the lucrative trade in shark fins. As demand, mainly from China, has soared, many shark populations have plummeted by as much as 90 percent in recent decades.

“If sharks continue to be overfished at the current rate, it’s only a matter of a few years before the targeted species are extinct,” according to Richard Thomas, communications director at Traffic, which monitors wildlife trade.

The fins are not cheap. Retailers in Hong Kong charge more than 2,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $260, per “catty,” a traditional weight measure commonly used in markets here and equal to a bit more than 600 grams, or 21 ounces. One catty makes about 10 portions of shark’s fin soup. However, the soup is losing some of its status — slowly.

Several vendors of dried seafood in the bustling Hong Kong neighborhood of Sheung Wan said last week that they now sold significantly less than they had a few years ago.

Hong Kong now has several groups that are opposed to shark finning — the practice of capturing sharks, removing the fins and then throwing them back into the water to die. In May, 12 restaurants and hotels pledged to offer shark-free options for banquets. Alibaba, the Chinese answer to eBay, has banned the sale of the fins on its site.

Sharks are fished in oceans around the world, but Hong Kong is the hub for the trade in their fins, handling between 50 percent and 80 percent of the global market. The fins go on to mainland China or to Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan. Hong Kong itself is also a major consumer.

Because Hong Kong is generally a trendsetter for upmarket spending in China, attitudes here could well influence consumption in the vastly greater mainland market, experts believe.

But conservationists have also taken their message to the mainland itself. Most prominent is a campaign by WildAid featuring Yao Ming, the National Basketball Association star, who was born in Shanghai. The campaign appears on CCTV, the main state television broadcaster, and on billboards and public screens in major cities.

“Many people in China are simply not aware that shark finning is wasteful, cruel and unsustainable,” said Michael Skoletsky, executive director at Shark Savers in New York, which also supports the campaign.

But changing attitudes is an uphill struggle. A survey by McKinsey, for example, showed last year that even though half of Chinese consumers said they wanted to understand the environmental impact of products they purchased, few actually walk the talk: Fewer than 3 percent ever purchased “green” products.

China’s netizens hooked on social media

Web in Travel 2010, June 28, 2010

With over four million Internet users in China, representing 29% of the population by the end of April 2010, the Internet is quickly replacing traditional media as brands and companies seek to connect with their consumers in new and different ways.

According to China Internet Network Information Center, the country’s official domain registry and research organisation, that’s an increase of around 50% over 2008, and a staggering increase of 1,500% since 2000.

In China, local Internet companies rule the digital space, and the numbers are mind-boggling. Local BBS (Bulletin Board System) was launched in 1994, marking the beginning of the Chinese Internet Community. Currently, it is home to over 384 million users who are online for an average of 16 hours per week, the same amount of time they spend watching television. There are 111 million people managing a social network profile, and these numbers are growing daily.

The Internet in China is dominated by long-running, local multi-service portals like Sina, QQ and Sohu that have been offering social networking, discussion forums, blogs, instant messaging and other “socialised media” long before Twitter and Facebook.

The power of the Internet in China has never been stronger and has not even begun to be realised fully ¬- the penetration rate is now only at 28% as compared to 70 to 80% in North America and Europe, according to World Internet Stats (Note: Cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou have Internet penetrations of up to 60%, according to CNNIC).

The workings of the online travel market in China

Chinese consumers heavily use the Internet to make their purchase decisions, while still using travel agents for final transactions, for the most part due to convenience. Travel agents in China generally recommend travel packages they have either known for years or which offer them the greatest incentive, if the consumer has no specific destination or hotel in mind. This is why it is vitally important for brands to be top of mind with Chinese consumers BEFORE they contact a travel agency.

The Internet in China is extremely influential, according to CIC Data. 81 % of BBS and blog users check online word of mouth before purchasing a product. Some 56.3% of users said they “got to know brands” through online channels. About 58.7% actually made purchase decisions based on user-generated online info (compared to only 19 % in US. Even when not making a purchase, 89.9% of users still pay attention to online word of mouth.

The Nielsen Outbound Travel Monitor found that travellers will search for conventional destination information ahead of their trips (61% of leisure trips taken), and then turn to online travel discussion forums (48%) to fine-tune their plans. This suggests that opinions and comments about travel experiences posted to online forums are nearly as likely to influence travellers’ decisions as the destination websites themselves; in addition, travellers were much more likely to recall seeing Internet advertising for travel destinations, compared to seeing travel advertising on other mediums. Conventional travel agents were approached on only two in five travel occasions in China.

Twenty-five % of travellers who leverage social media and travel reviews in the decision making process, purchased travel online. This marks a notable shift in travel buying behaviour, as cash still remains the most popular payment gateway to purchase travel in China. (PhoCusWright FYI newsletter October 2009).

In addition to the rapid increase and penetration of the Internet in China, the online engagement in China is incredibly high with over 40% sharing travel reviews or uploading photos and videos online, compared to just under 20% in North America and Europe, according to a research report by Forrester Research “Chinese Technographics Revealed 2009″. Ninety percent of the Chinese Internet population actively read internet blogs, and a huge 81% are now actively writing blogs (Source, Wave 4 UM). This is a higher rate than in the US (66% read blogs, 33% write) and the UK (58 %read blogs, 25% write blogs).

Among Chinese broadband users, 46% used a search engine to make overall purchase decisions, compared with 25 % of US broadband users. (eMarketer, March 2008). Last July 2009, Comscore announced that Baidu is the second largest search engine in the world, and in March 2010, Google announced its departure from China. Baidu had, by far, the largest market share in Q4 of 2009, and is expected to further increase its position.

One of the ways to rank well in Baidu is to have websites that are optimised in Chinese. While Baidu has many non-China hosted sites in its database, it is very beneficial to have a .cn domain or to host the Chinese website in China (over 80 % of all Chinese websites have a .cn domain compared to only 15 % spotting a .com address, according to CNNIC).

Online travel booking in China in 2009 saw rapid development and has become a highlight of the tourism market. China’s online travel booking users in 2009 reached 30.24 million, an increase of 77.9 % from the previous year, according to a report released by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

PhoCusWright reveals that China’s online travel space currently totals approximately US$6.9 billion, accounting for about 11 % of the country’s entire travel market. Due to a variety of factors, the online channel is expected to continue on a strong growth trajectory, and by 2011 will account for about 20 % of the total market. China’s online tourism market is booming as an increasingly wealthy middle class travels for leisure, while the use of credit cards and the Internet soars, according to Chinese internet research and consulting firm iResearch.

Localised social media strategies are most definitely needed. Sheer market size paired with increased wealth and consumerism is what started the original travel boom in China.

The emergence of new local entrepreneurs and increased global attention spurred by the events like the Beijing Olympics and Shanghai Expo (2010) will serve as a catalyst to grow China’s domestic and outbound travel. This upward trend continues despite a lack of standardised distribution, visa issues, the dominance of a few big travel agents, as well as lack of credit cards, all of which provide challenges.

Internet penetration in China is only at 28% and yet, even at this low rate, there are more Internet users in China than in the US. Leveraging the Internet to get brand insights and to connect with Chinese consumers is nowhere as powerful as in China. However, since the Chinese online landscape is so different, it is impossible to take a social media campaign from the West and plug it into China.

To be more effective, companies should consider the qualities that make Chinese netizens the perfect advocates of social media. For instance, social media campaigns should play on the individual’s susceptibility to shared opinions and values, by making the campaign as interactive as possible around the brand/product. The campaign should aim to make the Chinese netizen feel liberated by offering them opportunities to express themselves within the campaign: this could be done via profiles, avatars, BBS and blogging elements within the campaign.

The social media campaign should also be able to measure the impact using the unique qualities that indicate success, based on the extremely impressionable Chinese Internet audience.

Creating social media campaigns in China may be trickier due to government red tape and less freedom to express the brand message. However, properly strategised use of social media to increase brand awareness is extremely powerful in China.

For this reason, it is important to adopt your campaign to fit closely with the terms and conditions of whichever SNS you execute it on, and to understand the online behavior of Chinese netizens, in order to be able to listen, monitor, moderate, and engage.

Destination News

Melbourne bureau to appoint China manager

TTG Hub Daily News, May 31, 2010

MELBOURNE Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCVB) plans to expand in China by recruiting a business development manager for the market. Based in Shanghai, the person will report to MCVB’s North Asia regional sales director Jennifer Tung, who is based in Hong Kong.

MCVB CEO, Sandra Chipchase, said the role was created because of demand generated by the bureau’s current activities and from growth opportunities identified in China.

She said: “In 2009, Victoria received 163,000 visitors from China. Expenditure by Chinese visitors increased by 43.9 per cent to A$528 million (US$447.6 million) compared to the previous year.

“Chinese visitors spent 5.2 million visitor nights in Victoria (for the year ending June 2009), representing an increase of 30.9 per cent compared to the previous year. This increase is markedly higher than the national increase of 8.9 per cent, and surpassed our domestic competitors’ performances.”

NZ targets improvements in Chinese tour group experiences

PATA, June 2, 2010

Chinese tourists may now expect better quality group tour experiences following changes to New Zealand’s Approved Destination Status (ADS) programme. A revision of the ADS Code of Conduct, jointly developed by Tourism New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism, will help address quality issues impacting travel from China and improve the value of this market.

Shopping is one area that will come under increased scrutiny in the new code, with souvenir shops visited by ADS tours requiring a Qualmark endorsement from 1 January 2011.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the satisfaction levels of Chinese visitors have improved since the first Code of Conduct was released in 2007, but average satisfaction levels are still below those of other markets.

“Around half of our Chinese visitors travel here on ADS visas. Many spend just a few days in New Zealand – they go home less satisfied and spend less while they are here,” says Kevin Bowler.

“The way travel is sold in China and the distribution structure around how tours are organised and paid for means that souvenir shops are very influential in the distribution chain.

“Unfortunately this can result in visitors feeling pressured to shop or being exposed to overpriced shopping experiences, which is impacting satisfaction levels among ADS visitors. Qualmark endorsement will help ensure that the ADS programme has some influence and control over the shopping experiences included in ADS tours.”

Under the new code, all transport and activities included in ADS tour itineraries will also need to be Qualmark rated or endorsed. Accommodation providers are already required to be Qualmark rated.

“China offers big opportunities for New Zealand tourism, but we need to improve quality, as well as visitor numbers in order to grow its value to New Zealand’s economy,” says Kevin Bowler.

China is New Zealand’s fourth-largest inbound tourism market, with just over 100,000 visitors in the year to 30 April 2010. Chinese holiday visitors spend a median of three nights in New Zealand and contribute around $3,200 each to New Zealand’s economy (year end March 2010).

The U.S. Department of State announces changes to the U.S. nonimmigrant visa application fee

American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, June 09, 2010

Non-diplomatic and non-official visas issued by United States consular officers abroad require a visa application fee which covers the costs associated with manufacturing, processing, and printing visas.

Effective June 4, 2010, the current U.S. nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application fee of US$131 will increase. All applicants applying for NIVs in China must pay the non-refundable application fee at designated branches of China CITIC Bank. Both copies of the CITIC Bank fee receipt must be included with your visa application. The application fee is non-refundable regardless of whether your visa is issued. Applicants who have paid the application fee but fail to submit applications within one year will not have their application fee refunded.

NIV application processing fees will increase on June 4, 2010 and will be tiered as shown below. There will no longer be one single visa application fee for all nonimmigrant categories.

Non-petition-based visas, such as the B1/B2 (tourism, business), F1 (student) or J1 (exchange visitor) are now US$140 (RMB 966). Petition-based visas, such as the H (work), L (intra-company transferee), O (extraordinary ability), P (performer), Q (cultural exchange), or R (religious worker) are now US$150 (RMB 1035). K (fiancé/fiancée visas) are now US$350 (RMB 2415).

Hawaii to launch a new MICE website in September; the state looks forward to attracting 60000 Chinese tourists in 2010

www.travelweekly-china.com, June 9, 2010

Hawaii Day for the Expo 2010 Shanghai kicked off on June 8. Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney, said at the opening ceremony that Hawaii is expected to attract 60,000 Chinese tourists this year. It is looking forward to receiving 90,000 Chinese tourists in 2011. Hawaii will put more of a focus on the MICE market in 2010 and 2011. It will launch a new MICE website in September. Hawaii’s Governor Linda Lingle told reporters that Hawaii’s most important strategic target is to open direct flight routes to China.

Asian celebrity Jerry Yan shoots photo album in Australia

www.sohu.com, June 10, 2010

On June 10, Australia Tourism and Asian celebrity Jerry Yan jointly launched a press conference in Beijing, to promote Yan’s new photo album, 9314 Man and Boy, shot in Australia.

Tourism Australia Partners With China Southern Airlines

www.chinahospitalitynews.com.cn, June 11, 2010

Tourism Australia and China Southern Airlines have announced a new partnership agreement to help realize the potential of travel between China and Australia.

US Tourism Roadshow in China in July

AmCham Newsletter, June 21, 2010

The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) is organizing a U.S. Tourism Roadshow in Hangzhou, Nanjing, Hefei, Shenyang, Dalian and Chengdu, China on July14-21, 2010 for U.S. tourism interests; U.S. Convention and Visitors Bureaus, State Tourism Agencies, airlines, hoteliers, tour operators and other tourism suppliers.

The road show is designed to help develop relationships with local tourism authorities and travel agencies, identify potential partners and explore market opportunities in the outbound travel and tourism market in second tier cities of China. The program includes industry briefing by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, exhibition hours inside of the hotel conference rooms where participants can promote their services or destination and meet executives from local tourism government authorities, major tour operators, MICE intermediaries and major tour media.

The road show offers:

  • An opportunity to exhibit and social with qualified outbound travel agencies and tour operators and media.
  • An opportunity to meet local and provincial tourism bureau leaders
  • Organization and promotion by the U.S. Commercial Service and its cooperators.

Airline/Aircraft News

China Spurs Boeing Orders, But Risks Loom

Reuters, June 2, 2010

Explosive economic growth in China and massive government investment in its
transportation systems will generate thousands of aircraft orders for Boeing,
but it may expose the company to new competition and an overheated economy.

These are risks that Boeing is willing to take as other nations and their struggling airlines recover from an economic downturn.

China has emerged in recent years as an economic pillar and Boeing’s biggest export market. The nation saw its economy expand by nearly 12 percent in the first three months of 2010. Boeing is betting that new Chinese wealth and government spending on infrastructure will bolster travel within China and extend a boom in plane orders for the foreseeable future.

“A growing middle class in China is dramatically reshaping the country’s domestic economy and having a major global economic impact as well,” Boeing chief executive James McNerney said at an event in Chicago on Wednesday. “China is indeed Boeing’s largest export market,” he said. “Not by a little, but by a lot.”

Lan Airlines appoints GSA in Beijing and Shanghai

Asia Travel Tips, June 21, 2010

LAN Airlines, one of the largest airlines in South America, has expanded its sales presence in China, appointing new general sales agents (GSA) in the key cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

The two new appointments take to three the number of GSA companies engaged by LAN in China, with Pro Air International Group already representing the airline in Hong Kong and southern China.

The LAN group of passenger airlines is comprised the long haul international carrier LAN Airlines (formerly LAN Chile), LAN Argentina, LAN Peru, LAN Ecuador and LAN Express. The company operates over 80 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to more than 70 destinations, including over 50 in South America.

LAN’s Senior Sales Manager Asia, Juan Carlos Selman, said China was of enormous importance to LAN, with both commerce and leisure travel increasing to South America.

“The Asia Pacific region is forecast soon to become the world’s biggest and fastest growing air transport market, and China is at the forefront of that growth,” said Mr Selman. “Both China and the nations of South America are experiencing strong economic growth, and trade between these markets is steady and very encouraging … China’s middle class is also growing strongly, with the result that leisure travel from China to destinations including South America is also showing encouraging growth.”

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