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Weekly Update: "Oxygen Trains" For China's Elderly Adventurers

An update on China's recovering travel industry.

China Trust Travel Launches "Oxygen Train" Product in Tibet

China Trust Travel recently held a grand launch ceremony in Beijing for the nationwide launch of their "Qinghai-Gansu-Tibet Oxygen Deluxe Soft Sleeper Special Train 15-Day Tour".

Let's call it the Oxygen Train for short. Marketed as a high-quality, vacation-oriented Tibet railway tourism product, China Trust Travel is specifically targeting the country's growing and wealthy market of middle-aged and elderly tourists.

The Oxygen Train sees several firsts in the history of domestic train tourism: first, all carriages adopt oxygen-supplied soft sleepers, allowing passengers to comfortably traverse the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau throughout the journey. This is a plateau with an average elevation of 4,500 metres, or 14,800 feet, making altitude sickness a common occurrence among travelers. Secondly, this is the first train to traverse the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau during the day, providing passengers with a panoramic view of the stunning scenery of Tibet.

United Nations World Tourism Organization: Global Visa Policy Openness Has Returned to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Recently, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released its latest report on global visa policy openness, showing that as travel restrictions related to the pandemic are lifted, the openness of global destinations to international tourism has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Furthermore, measures such as visa-on-arrival, electronic visas, and visa-free travel are also expanding. The report shows that the proportion of the global population needing traditional visas for travel decreased to 47% in 2023, down from 77% in 2008 and 59% in 2018. Among all regions globally, the Asia-Pacific region has the highest level of openness to international tourism; and within sub-regions, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the Caribbean are the most open.

Ctrip Launches "Old Friends Club" to Provide Exclusive Prices for Users Over 50

Recently, Ctrip launched a brand called "Old Friends Club" to provide exclusive travel products and prices for users aged 50 and above . Liang Jianzhang, Chairman of Ctrip, who is 55 years old this year, personally endorsed the brand. This move by Ctrip comes as per capita tourism consumption of China's silver-haired population is growing. On the Ctrip platform, the number of orders placed by the silver-haired population (aged 50 and above) increased by 90% compared to the same period in 2019, far exceeding the growth rate of other age groups. According to predictions by the China Tourism Academy, by 2025, the number of elderly people with high travel rates and high tourism consumption in China is expected to exceed 100 million, and the income from elderly tourism is expected to reach trillions of yuan.

New Domain Holidays Launches European Products in Beijing

On March 28th, New Domain Holidays, a brand under CYTS Travel, held a grand launch event for its 2024 new European products in Beijing. During this event, hundreds of independently developed European new products were showcased, covering multiple destinations, themes, and innovative experiences across the European market, bringing a new trend of European travel in 2024 to the partners present at the event. With flight connectivity from China to Europe on the rise, and with France and Russia entering China's top ten outbound destinations, the European market is set for a China recovery.

Ministry of Culture and Tourism Signs Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

On April 2nd, the China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China at an event held in Beijing. According to the agreement, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will provide no less than 300 billion yuan in financing support for the cultural and tourism industry during the validity period of the agreement.

Administrative departments of culture and tourism in 28 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government, as well as cultural and tourism institutions of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Seoul, Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong, and branches of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China at home and abroad signed cooperation agreements at different venues.

Flight Updates

China Eastern Airlines to Launch Shanghai - Riyadh Route on April 27th

Starting from April 27th, China Eastern Airlines will open a new direct flight route from Shanghai to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. This marks an important expansion of China Eastern Airlines' route network in the Middle East region.

Air China Resumes Beijing to Jeju Route

On March 31st, Air China's Beijing to Jeju route resumed operations with a ceremony held at Jeju International Airport in South Korea. The "Beijing to Jeju" route, operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft, will run on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Hainan Airlines Plans to Resume Beijing to Prague International Route

According to information from Hainan Airlines, Hainan Airlines plans to resume its direct flight route from Beijing to Prague, Czech Republic, starting from June 24th. This resumption aims to provide more convenient travel services for passengers between China and the Czech Republic, further promoting cultural, economic, and trade exchanges between the two countries.

Hainan Airlines Resumes Beijing to Seattle International Route

On April 2nd, Hainan Airlines announced that its Beijing to Seattle HU495 direct flight departed from Beijing Capital International Airport at 13:11 local time and arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 9:00 local time. This marks the official resumption of Hainan Airlines' Beijing to Seattle international route. This route is the second Beijing direct flight route to the United States operated by Hainan Airlines after the smooth transition of epidemic prevention and control. It is understood that the Beijing to Seattle international route of Hainan Airlines plans to operate three round-trip flights per week, with flights scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Yanji to Vladivostok Route Resumes Operations

On April 1st, the Yanji, Jilin Province, to Vladivostok, Russia route resumed operations. At 5:30 pm that day, CZ5087 flight carrying more than 130 passengers took off from Yanji Chaoyangchuan International Airport and flew to Vladivostok, Russia.

Starting from April 1st, the Yanji to Vladivostok route will officially operate as a fixed route, with two round-trip flights per week on Mondays and Fridays. After the resumption of operations, the travel time for passengers between the two cities will be shortened from about 4 hours at the Yanbian land port to about 1 hour.

Yichang Sanxia Airport Opens Direct Flight Route to Ho Chi Minh City

On April 2nd at 20:44, 132 Vietnamese passengers on flight QW6190 took off from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and after more than 3 hours of flying, arrived at Yichang Sanxia Airport at 00:03 on April 3rd, marking the successful inaugural flight of the Yichang to Ho Chi Minh City international route. This is the second international route opened after the opening of the aviation port at Yichang Sanxia Airport, and the opening of this route will further promote cultural, tourism, and economic exchanges between the two places, providing a new destination option for citizens to travel abroad.

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