Shanghai expects 10 million visitors in 2010
Shanghai is expected to receive 10 million visitors by 2010, officials at the municipal tourism administrative commission said. The city had 6 million overseas tourists last year. This set a new record for the most number of foreign tourists visiting a Chinese mainland city in a calendar year.
‘Green hotels’ must comply by year’s end
The 112 hotels that have signed contracts to be “green hotels” for the Olympics have to meet the qualifying standards by the end of this year, officials of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the XXIX Olympiad said. The standards were set by China’s National Tourism Administration in early 2006. These include setting up eco-friendly managerial systems, reducing energy use and waste creation. Experts will be sent to inspect hotels early next year. Institutions that fail to meet standards will have their ‘green’ status revoked. The green hotels will provide 30,000 of the 260,000 rooms required for the Olympics.
China and India forge tourism partnership
This year is the year of the China-India Friendship Year Through Tourism. The partnership will promote cultural exchanges in education, tourism, religion, media and sports. Improved air connectivity between the two countries, reduced visa regulations and exchange programs for youths are some of the tourism initiatives. China’s Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing, has said he wants to develop a strategic and cooperative partnership between the two countries.
China’s budget hotel chains grow
Home Inns and Jinjiang Inns are leading the rapidly growing budget hotel market. Both chains were publicly listed last year; Home Inns on NASDAQ and Jinjiang on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Morgan Stanley recently invested US$20 million in the Motel 168 chain. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, China had 50 registered budget hotel chains with more than 600 outlets in 2005.