China: questions and answers

Liuyin Yang discusses travel and tourism developments in China with Travel Weekly contributing editor Helen Brower.

TW: Do you think that the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule will have a beneficial effect on travel to both destinations?

Yang: Yes, as a matter of fact, even before Hong Kong returned to China, it played an important role as the gateway to China. Now that the relationship is even closer, this mutual benefit will grow.

TW: Are there any plans for cooperative China/Hong Kong travel promotions and marketing campaigns, especially in the U.S.?

Yang: We have actually been working with the Hong Kong Tourist Association on co-op promotions for four or five years. At the moment, we are planning a co-op promotion for the public at the Mall of America in Minneapolis from Oct. 5 to 12. We will be bringing in people from the industry from China and Hong Kong, as well as performers and craftspeople. We hope to attract close to 1 million people, since the mall is visited by 43 million people per year, or about 100,000 per day. In addition, during the month of July, we ran 91 TV spots on CNN.

TW: What are some of the relatively unknown destinations in China that the China National Tourist Office would like tourists to discover and include in their travel plans?

Yang: Americans are quite familiar with most of the popular cities, like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and places like the Yangtze River's Three Gorges, but we would like them to explore secondary cities and areas like Yunnan Province and its capital, Kunming, and other interesting places in southwestern China, as well as destinations in the northeast, like the winter resort town of Harbin. n

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