Beijing recorded a 51 per cent year-on-year fall in overseas tourist arrivals in the first
half of 2003 due to the impact of the Sars virus. Hotels received 3.4m domestic tourists,
reported Xinhua, down by one-quarter.
The Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing is to undergo a US$72m renovation. The three-year
project will include the construction of a new 20-storey tower.
Anew air route between Chongqing and Dusseldorf in Germany was due to start operation
at the end of September. LTU airline of Germany will operate the once-a-week service,
according to sources at Chongqing Jiangbei airport. They said the route would boost tourism
in western China.
The ceiling on the amount of foreign exchange for travellers who want to go abroad for
less than six months has been increased from US$2,000 to US$3,000, said the State Administration
of Foreign Exchange. Those who intend to stay for longer can buy US$5,000 from
banks. The move should increase currency outflows, thereby easing pressure on the yuan.
Hyatt International has broken ground on the Park Hyatt Beijing, the group’s first Park
brand hotel in China. Situated on Changan Avenue, the property is a joint venture with China
Yin Tai Holdings. Building work is expected to be completed in 2006.
The UK-based Business Travel International has taken a 51 per cent stake in a new joint
venture with Jin Jiang International. This means that the world’s top three corporate travel
management companies, the others being American Express and Carlson Wagonlit Travel,
have all set up joint ventures in China since the sector was opened up at the start of this year.
Despite renewed optimism in the aviation sector, Hainan Airlines said advance bookings
to the resort island for the National Day holidays were 30 per cent down on last year.
Restrictions governing the use of airspace in northern China have been loosened, said
the website Sina.com, quoting the General Administration for Civil Aviation of China. In the
past, airlines had to select one of three northern access points to connect to four routes spanning
the Arctic Ocean. Now, at just one hour’s notice, they can switch access point if their
first-choice route is experiencing bad weather. The move is expected to improve the safety
of polar flights and shorten the length of Asia-North America services.
Intercontinental Hotels Group said it plans to open 20 Crowne Plaza brand hotels in
China over the next two years, including five in the coming months. The first to open was
Beijing International Convention Centre in northern Beijing, close to the site chosen for the
main events of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Rosedale Hotel & Suites in Beijing is a offering room rates at US$55 net per night for
guests staying at least 30 consecutive nights. The offer is valid until the end of next March.