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Inaugural 'Brilliant China Tour' takes flight

By RENA LI in Los Angeles | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-27 11:30

American passengers in the inaugural "Brilliant China Tour" travel group celebrate with Air China personnel before boarding their flight on Sunday at the Los Angeles International Airport. RENA LI / CHINA DAILY

As the first "Brilliant China Tour" passengers prepared to board their Air China flight, they received a warm welcome from the airline — along with some cuddly panda dolls.

During a brief departure event Sunday at the Air China counter at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the tour group's passengers were presented with the airline's adorable Fat Anda panda dolls as they checked in for the flight. They were brimming with excitement and anticipation for their trip to China.

One of the group's members, Mary, who came from Florida, shared her excitement with China Daily.

"It's my second time visiting China," she said. "I've always looked forward to going back. China is amazing — the food, the incredible culture and the humble people. This time, I'm especially excited to visit the Great Wall, which I missed during my first trip."

Peng Lei, the managing director of Air China North America, told China Daily that the initiative aims to revitalize people-to-people exchanges following the pandemic.

"To foster cultural exchanges between the US and China and cater to passengers' travel preferences, we collaborated with the Chinese Consulate General in LA and the China National Tourism Administration to introduce an innovative tourism program called Brilliant China Tour," Peng said.

Since the program launched online, it has garnered attention from tourists in North America, he said.

The first group of 11 tour members from various parts of the US gathered in Los Angeles and boarded Air China flight CA988 directly to China. Their itinerary includes exploring Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen, culminating in their return to LA from Shenzhen on Air China flight CA769 on March 5.

"We will provide visitors with an exceptional experience through the Brilliant China Tour program," said Alex Wang, president of InterTrips, the travel agency organizing the initial tour group. "This program offers opportunities to marvel at ancient architecture, savor delectable cuisine, and immerse oneself in the vibrancy of modern cities," he said, adding that the visitors will be warmly greeted in each city upon their arrival in China.

Peng Jing, commercial counselor for the consulate, emphasized the importance of fostering deeper, mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the US through people-to-people exchange.

"I believe the first tour group to China will serve as an example to enhance people-to-people exchanges and friendship. We welcome more Americans to visit China personally and share their experiences with their families and friends," she said.

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