BERLIN — Chinese travel agencies on March 8 charmed tourism dealers at a key travel trade show in Berlin, featuring the Silk Road destinations.
Chinese provincial tourism administrations from Shanghai, Hunan, Inner Mongolia and Shandong, as well as Chinese airliners participated in the Internationale Tourismus Boerse (ITB), which will last from March 8 to March 12 with an expected 180,000 attendees.
Destinations in West China’s regions of Shaanxi and Xinjiang are drawing extra attention, as tourists can enjoy the convenience in the modern cities while traversing moments in history.
Although modern big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, still stay on top of the holiday destinations, the Silk Road spots like Lanzhou, Dunhuang, Xi’an have become increasingly heated in recent years, said Shi Xiang, Frankfurt-based regional director of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).
Some selected travel routes are along the historical Silk Road, an ancient network of trade routes connecting East and West, offering a similar experience as “the early explorers”.
People can ride horses, camels and accommodate in gers just like the local herdsmen.
Viktoria Arneson, a 28-year-old travel expert, said the cities on promotion might well suit the taste of western travelers, since lots of them are “adventurous”.
“For me, I like grand landscapes, for example sea, steppe, desert. The Silk Road route have those landscapes and seems to be exotic,” Arneson said.
For many German exhibitors and dealers, taking a trip along the ancient trade route is even more luring, since the term Silk Road itself is coined by German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1,868 to 1,872.
According to a preliminary report by CNTA, foreign travelers made more than 28 million visits into China in 2016, with a year-on-year growth of 8.3 percent.