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Saudi Tourism Authority partners with Taiba for China marketing


On June 6th, the Saudi Tourism Authority signed an agreement with Taiba Investments, a large hotel and real estate company in Saudi Arabia, to customise local hotels and conduct joint marketing campaigns to attract more Chinese tourists to the Kingdom. Taiba Investments, listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, is one of the largest real estate and hotel developers in Saudi Arabia, with extensive land reserves.


This cooperative campaign looks to promote Saudi Arabia's cultural heritage and diverse tourism products in the Chinese market. Alhasan Dabbagh, President of the Asia-Pacific region of the Saudi Tourism Authority, stated their goal is to make China one of the top three source markets by 2030, attracting millions of Chinese tourists.


China travel stats: outbound summer trips projected to grow 100% YoY


On June 5th, Zhongxin Travel released a report on China's 2024 summer travel trends, indicating a 45% increase in product variety compared to the same period last year, with European products showing the most significant increase. So far, the number of summer outbound travel bookings has equaled that of the same period last year. As more short-haul destinations simplify immigration procedures, it is expected that the number of outbound tourists this summer will increase by 100% YoY.



Malaysia now Chinese tourists self-service immigration clearance


Currently, Chinese tourists can enter Malaysia visa-free. As of June 1st, Chinese tourists can use self-service gates for immigration clearance, reducing the entire process to as little as 15 seconds.


Domestic tourism spending by Chinese tourists nears $1 trillion, almost ten times outbound spending


Research by the World Travel & Tourism Council and Oxford Economics found that, despite the full recovery of global tourism, visa backlogs in countries like the U.S. and high international flight prices have led Chinese tourists to rather opt for domestic destinations. In 2024, domestic tourism spending by Chinese tourists is expected to reach nearly ten times that of outbound tourism spending, with this gap projected to widen further by 2034.


China's first "Human-Pet Charter" outbound tour departs


On June 6, China's first human-pet charter outbound tour, jointly created by Boehringer Ingelheim and Aipet Travel, officially departed. Over 20 pet dogs accompanied their owners to Thailand for a week, during which Boehringer provided professional pet services (like deworming, for example), to make sure the pets stayed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the duration of the trip.



Northwest China's first french visa center opens in Xi'an


On May 31st, the French Visa Application Center in Xi'an officially opened at the Xi'an Chanba International Immigration Affairs Building. This is the first French visa center in Northwest China. The Xi'an center can handle visas for 26 countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Portugal, covering various types of travel such as business, tourism, work, family visits, and study.


China Southern Airlines opens Shenzhen to Riyadh direct flight


On June 3, China Southern Airlines launched its first direct flight from Shenzhen to Riyadh. This is the first direct passenger flight from Shenzhen to Saudi Arabia. The flight operates twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays, with a flight time of approximately 9 hours and 30 minutes, using the Airbus A330 aircraft.



China Southern Airlines resumes Kathmandu-Guangzhou round-trip flights


On June 1, China Southern Airlines resumed its Kathmandu-Guangzhou round-trip flight. The flight is operated by the Airbus A319NEO, flying twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays until July 15, and daily from July 16 onwards.


Air China increases flights on China-UK route in June


On June 1, Air China added flights on its China-UK route. The newly added flight CA851/2 (Beijing Capital - London Gatwick) operates daily with Airbus A330 aircraft.


Guiyang-Shenzhen-Milan route launched on May 31


On May 31, the Guiyang-Shenzhen-Milan route was successfully launched, marking the first intercontinental route from Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport post-pandemic and Hainan Airlines' first international route from Guiyang post-pandemic. To celebrate the launch, Hainan Airlines offered special promotional fares, with round-trip tickets starting at 1,330 yuan (excluding taxes).



Cathay Pacific plans to open Hong Kong to Riyadh direct service in October


Cathay Pacific signed a route launch agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines, planning to open a direct service from Hong Kong to Riyadh starting October 28. Cathay Pacific's CEO, Lam Shiu Po, mentioned that the group's passenger capacity has recovered to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, covering approximately 80 destinations worldwide, with full recovery expected by the first quarter of next year.


Juneyao Airlines' Shanghai-Penang direct route inaugural flight


On May 31, marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia, Juneyao Airlines' inaugural flight HO1365 from Shanghai to Penang took off. The new direct route from Shanghai to Penang operates four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and is planned to increase to daily flights starting June 21.

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