The first direct flight of China to Reunion Island, which opened on February 12, is conducted twice a week aboard an Airbus A340-300. As an overseas territory of France, Reunion Island is a relatively new tourist destination in the South Indian Ocean.
Activities include hiking on a volcano, exploring in a lava tunnel and observing whales and dolphins. The Reunion Island Tourism Board has unveiled a 15-day one-time conditional visa-free policy to Chinese tourists.
Benefiting from the rapid growth of Guangzhou's economy, more and more local residents get rich and choose to travel abroad. To cater to the new surge of travelers, several direct international flights were added this year to the city's some 30 existent routes to foreign destinations on five continents.
The flight, opened on January 21, departs from Guangzhou at 4:30 a.m. and flies back to Guangzhou at 9:40 p.m. Koh Samui, the third-largest island in Thailand, is famous for its long, clean beaches. It still retains its original flavor due to inadequate development.
This flight began on January 24 and takes less than two hours to reach Ða Nang, the fourth-largest city in Vietnam. Famous tourist spots in or near the city include Son Tra Peninsula, well-known for its vast primary forests and rare animals, as well as Hoi'an, home to small local boutiques, artwork shops, bars and well-preserved Chinese and Japanese architecture.
Vietnam provides a visa-on-arrival service to Chinese. All you need are your passport and two color photos with white background.
This flight, to open on April 10, will fly every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. It is cheaper than the previous Guangzhou-Los Angeles-Mexico City flight, according to China Southern Airlines. Besides, tourists with Canadian visas can also enter Mexico.
The 2017 Guangzhou International Travel Fair (GITF), which ran from February 23-25 at the China Import and Export Fair complex in Pazhou, featured new travel programs to the Middle East and exotic islands.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, GITF attracted nearly 980 exhibitors from 51 countries and regions within a display area of 28,600 square meters.
International exhibitors accounted for 66 percent of the booths, and professional buyers totaled 800, an increase of 2.56 percent over last year.
Middle East tours are becoming popular for Chinese travelers due to more relaxed visa policies in Tunisia and Dubai. Many travel agencies have launched tourism products such as trips to Dubai, Egypt and Tunisia for less than 10,000 yuan.
New island tours also generated attention. Reunion Island and the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia are becoming more popular than the traditional leisure islands of Phuket and Bali.
According to Vincent Cong of the Reunion Island Tourism Board China, Reunion Island did not enter the Chinese market until the end of 2014, and by 2016 around 5,000 Chinese tourists had visited Reunion. In order to attract more Chinese visitors, the island has launched a 15-day conditional visa-free policy.
Guangzhou is the first Chinese city to open direct flights to the island. It is predicted that about 8,000 Chinese tourists will visit Reunion in 2017, Cong said.
Reunion Island, as an overseas territory of France, is famous for three ice cirques and has a series of spectacular landforms which are great spots for hiking and other outdoor activities.
From July to September, Reunion Island is a great spot for whale watching as they swim back from the Antarctic.