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China trending top 10 among tourist boards

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-12-28 15:52

Wondering where to go in 2018?

For starters, China is the top trending country ringing in the New Year. The "beautiful, mysterious and mind-blowing" nation is among the globe's must-see destinations for the year ahead, according to several leading travel services.

With the New Year around the corner, travelers are heading "far east to take one last trip to ring in 2018", according to online hospitality service Airbnb.

"China is the top trending country for travelers on New Year's Eve, and Chinese cities dominate the 10 cities with the highest growth in Airbnb listings globally," Airbnb said in a statement last week.

This coming New Year's Eve will be Airbnb's biggest yet, with nearly 3 million guests traveling and staying in one of their listings, the company said in a release.

Six Chinese cities are dominating the top-10 list of trending destinations this New Year Eve, the company said.

In addition to provincial capitals such as Wuhan in central China and Nanjing in east China, cities near Shanghai, which has seen 100 percent domestic listing growth on Airbnb over the past year, are attracting revelers this year, it said.

They include Suzhou and Hangzhou, both of which offer beautiful old canals, pagodas, temples, gardens and arched bridges.

Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province, also makes the list with its ancient history and famed archaeological sites like the Terracotta Army.

Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world, asked its experts to scour the globe for "next year's irresistible destinations".

They selected China as one of the 10 top, with centrally located Hunan province being one of the world's top "10 destinations to tempt frugal travelers".

Lonely Planet experts singled out the phenomenal rapid transport in China as a plus to the country's travel amenities, saying that since 2016, China has opened extensive new high-speed rail tracks, creating the largest such network on Earth.

"Twenty-first century China is here to stay, so hop on board a bullet train and explore this modern Middle Kingdom," the Lonely Planet said in its Best in Travel 2018 report.

Top attractions in the country that is "big, beautiful and full of mystery and adventure" include the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, where several previously restricted halls are now open to the public; the gargantuan Shanghai Tower, which welcomes visitors to the world's highest observation deck, and the cultural hub Design Society in Shenzhen, which features a partnership gallery with London's V&A Museum.

For Hunan, the Lonely Planet recommends Zhangjiajie, an amazing sandstone canyon with almost 250 bizarrely shaped peaks; Fenghuang, a stunning historic town that quite literally hangs over the Tuo River; and the fiery Hunan cuisine.

Travel Market Report, an online business publication from the American Marketing Group, also lists China among its top destinations for 2018.

According to its Ultimate Travel Agent Bucket List: Top Destinations for 2018, China is one of the top places that travel professionals said they want to go to in 2018.

"I spent two months traveling through rural China. It absolutely blew my mind," the Travel Market Report website cited Jord Ana of Tripzter Travel in Vancouver, Canada, as saying.

"The hospitality, kindness, landscapes, history, loved it so much. I felt like I was in an ancient novel. Such a contrast from the ultra-modern cities like Shanghai that look like they belong on another planet!"

The total number of China's domestic and inbound tourist trips is expected to surpass 5.1 billion this year, up more than 11 percent from 2016, according to a report released by the China Tourism Academy and the data center of the China National Tourism Administration last week.

huanxinzhao@chinadailyusa.com

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