China aims to become No. 1 tourist destination

February 20th, 2011 - 6:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Shaan Beijing, Feb.20 (ANI): In the race to become the ‘number one’ tourist destination, China’s travel industry plans to shift focus from ’scenic locations’ to promoting the Chinese culture this year.

The China National Tourism Office (CNTO) states that their theme for this year is “China Culture Tour 2011″, and “Travel to appreciate and experience Chinese culture” is the new slogan.

Responding to this, travel companies have been in a frenzy to develop itineraries that not only include beautiful locations, but also engage the cultures that inhabit them, The China Daily reports.

“Cultural travel experiences, such as learning Kungfu, cooking and language , will be one of the most popular travel themes this year,” says David Deng, Marketing Manager of China’s International Travel Service website, Chinatravel.com.

“Sightseeing is just one branch of travel. Cultural experience is the root,” says Zhang Yuan, Promotions Specialist of China’s Odyssey Tours.

She added that one should go beyond visiting the iconic cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shaanxi’s provincial capital Xi’an and the Guanxi Zhuang region’s Guilin city in order to witness a plethora of obscure yet “amazing” festivals like the Hmong new year celebrations in ethnic Miao villages; Fanjing Mountain’s International Tent Festival, among others.

One of Asia’s top tourist destinations, China recently overtook Spain to become the world’s third most visited country, after the United States and France, and is expected to be at the top by 2015,according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). (ANI)

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