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Countries embrace returning Chinese travelers for Lunar New Year and beyond

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-12 08:14

A Chinese tourist poses for photos while visiting the archaeological site of Jerash in Jordan, on Feb. 10, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]


From boutique shops to culinary hotspots and iconic landmarks worldwide, businesses are embracing the allure of Loong culture in the Year of the Dragon, appealing to returning Chinese travelers.

Luisaviaroma, a Florence-based boutique store since 1929, plans to celebrate the Year of the Dragon with an immersive in-store installation in collaboration with Chinese designers.

The core element of the dedicated installation at the boutique store will be bamboo, an extremely symbolic material for Chinese culture, representing toughness, grace and harmony.

"As we understood from the Chinese culture, the year of the dragon is particularly important, and we respect Chinese culture a lot," said Stefanie Yi, the enterprise's senior marketing and PR manager for Asia region.

In the Dutch village of Giethoorn, praised as "the Venice of the North," Gabriella Esselbrugge, a tourism entrepreneur, plans to develop boat and biking tours in the village and the national park, popular activities among Chinese tourists.

In central London, the Michelin-starred restaurant Hakkasan unveiled a Year of Loong menu featuring such elements as dragon and Chinese lanterns, and cocktails inspired by Chinese paper cutting.

"It is fantastic that borders are open and restrictions are lifted, and we can really welcome back all of loyal customers, but also some new ones, too," said Lauren Dodds, the gastronomic gem's marketing manager.

The Jungfrau Railways, operating in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps, a World Heritage Site, decorated its platforms and trains with elements related to the Year of Loong from Feb. 8 to 20, said Urs Kessler, CEO of Jungfrau Railways.

The Railways also set up a special Chinese Noodle bar with many Asian delicacies in the Grindelwald Terminal and offers Chinese menus on Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe, to attract Chinese tourists.

In the face of the burgeoning demand among Chinese tourists, airlines are scaling up their international operations.

China Southern Airlines launched a new flight between Nairobi and the Chinese city of Guangzhou on Dec. 21, 2023.

"We scheduled two weekly flights between the two cities before, and now we have three. The move is expected to increase the volume of trade and cultural interactions between the two countries, so we are keeping a close eye on Africa's tourism market," said Liu Wenbin, the general manager of China Southern Airlines Nairobi Office.

Hainan Airlines' HU489 flight from Beijing to Berlin has resumed to pre-pandemic levels, with three flights per week during the winter-spring season, and is scheduled to increase frequency to five flights per week from April 2024, the airlines' Berlin office told Xinhua in an interview.

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