Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hamburg: Northern Germany’s Biggest City Offers A Plethora Of Festivals, Cultural Highlights, And A Top Horticultural Event In 2013

 Brücke in der Speicherstadt 1 / bridge at the Speicherstadt 1

Visitors to Hamburg can expect even more than the well-known maritime attractions in 2013, when the city is host to the prestigious International Garden Show, and celebrates the anniversary of its renowned ballet company. These and many more events will make for a diverse program that shows the many faces of Germany’s northern most metropolis. The top highlights for 2013 include:

40 Years Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the internationally acclaimed Hamburg Ballet and its director and chief choreographer John Neumeier will be presenting a special jubilee program. Spanning the company’s artistic vision from the very beginnings in 1973 to its current multi-facetted repertoire, the season will include four revivals, one premiere, as well as two guest companies. Highlight of the anniversary program will be Hamburg Ballet Festival, which will open with the John Neumeier interpreted performances of “Scenes from Shakespeare”.
The Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier kicks off the anniversary year with a tour of the United States in February 2013, with performances in Chicago, Orange County and San Francisco.
Celebrated as one of the great signature choreographers of tour time, American-born Neumeier is known for masterfully combining classical ballet tradition with very contemporary
80 Gardens Around The World: The International Garden Show Hamburg (igs)
April 26 until October 2013
Poised to become the Mecca for garden enthusiasts and landscape designers, Hamburg will be showcasing “80 Gardens around the World” on 100 acres on the Elbe river island of Williamsburg, during the International Garden Show 2013. Seven horticultural themed sections will present unique eco-systems as well as cultures form around the world. Visitors will also learn about green initiatives, and experience the very typical regional agricultural and horticultural landscapes with its carefully kept gardens and fruit trees. The show is complemented by a full program of open-air activities, concerts, plays, and gastronomic
824th Harbor Birthday
May 9-12, 2013
Highlight of Hamburg’s annual events calendar will again be the Harbor Birthday celebration (Hafengeburtstag). Touted to be the world’s biggest harbor festival, the tradition goes back to 1189, when Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa granted the people of Hamburg exemption from customs duties for ships on the Elbe river. Centered on and around the Landungsbrücken (landing docks), Hamburg’s 824th Harbor Birthday is expected to draw some 1.5 million visitors who for four days will enjoy 500 booths, music, performances, food, and entertainment. Complementing the activities on land, some of the world’s most impressive cruise ships, frigates and steamboats ships will be part of the program with ship parades, tug boat ballet, dragon boat races and more.
Quickly becoming a new tradition, cruise lines are using the popular harbor event to stage their ship naming ceremonies. This year, on May 10, 2013, Hapag Lloyd’s MS Europa will be “baptized” in a festive public celebration. The event will culminate in a huge firework display.
Elbjazz Festival
May 24/25, 2013
The fourth annual Elbjazz Festival is again expected to draw fans from all over Europe to enjoy some 50 performances on ten stages at and around Hamburg’s harbor and the Elbe river. Unique venues range from open-air stages, to hidden ship yards, a freight ship or a local bar, and – in Hamburg fashion - fans can hop from concert to concert by boat. Jazz legends as well as newcomers from Hamburg and around the world will present their diverse styles. Line-up for 2013 includes the European Jazz Ensemble, Charlie Wood and many others.
Reeperbahn Festival
September 26 – 28, 2013
This one-of-a-kind urban club festival turns the formerly seedy red light district into Europe’s coolest live music venue. For three nights some 200 bands heat up the clubs, bars, theaters and churches in this legendary neighborhood. Now in its eighth year, the festival features bands and DJs from abound the word, but also serves as a platform for entertainment industry professionals, and offers a diverse program of street art, poetry and literature, movies, and parties.
Information on travel to Hamburg at

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"All-Inclusive" Cruises- What Is Really Included?

More and more these days we hear about all-inclusive cruising. This has become a particularly hot topic since so many of the large cruise lines have begun charging for all sorts of extras, from sodas to cappuccinos to specialty restaurants.
But as more and more of the upscale lines advertise themselves as being “all-inclusive” consumers find themselves having to read the fine print to know what is actually included and what is not.
The key items that passengers are typically interested in are alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and gratuities…but there are lots of other little “extras” that consumers may not have considered, like airport transfers, pre- or post-trip hotel stays and 24-hour cabin service.
The editors at AllThingsCruise thought it was important that you have somewhere to go to know exactly what you are – or aren’t – going to get on your next cruise. They contacted each and every cruise line with a list of 13 cruise amenities and asked them to detail which are included on their ships.
The result is a chart  that we believe will be invaluable to cruisers who want to get the most from their cruise dollar.
Thirty-three cruise lines, including small luxury lines line Silversea, Seabourn and Regent and river lines like Uniworld, Viking and Scenic, are included. And the large companies are there as well – Carnival, MSC, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL and more.
Studying the chart reveals a trend to including more amenities on smaller ships and fewer on large ships. For example, the only amenity included on Carnival ships is 24-hour room service and the only amenity on NCL ships are butlers (and only in a very few suites.)
“I frequently sail on smaller ships that include some, but not all, amenities and I am often confused by what I will be paying for and what not,” explains Cynthia Boal Janssens, editor of AllThingsCruise. “So it was obvious that this kind of reference was needed, both for consumers and for travel agents.”
The chart is also annotated with special information about specific lines. For example, Cunard – “Stocked in-cabin mini-bar and butler service for Queens Grill guests only. Liquor and wine from mini-bar will be replenished with a charge to guest’s accounts at their request. All standard items replenished daily. QG butler service includes in-room party coordination.” Disney – “Specialty drinks limited to complimentary soft drinks in dining rooms and 24/7 drink station. Specialty coffees available to concierge guests on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Butler service is included for Concierge guests on all ships.”
 This chart is a service to all cruisers, whether on ships large or small. Please reference the All-Inclusive Chart before planning your next cruise. The chart will be constantly revised as cruise lines change and/or upgrade their amenities programs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

5 Free Things To Do In New Orleans On Your Next Visit

Contributed by Stacey Plaisance/AP

The ferry boat, bottom right, crosses the Mississippi from downtown New Orleans, seen in background, to Algiers Point, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013. A boat ride is one of the best ways to get a look at the New Orleans skyline and the Mississippi River's daily parade of river barges, steamships and cruise ships. The Algiers Point ferry, which has been in operation since the early 1800s, is free to pedestrians. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
It's expensive to be a tourist in a town that's hosting two of the biggest events of the new year - Mardi Gras and the NFL Super Bowl - but New Orleans has plenty of free things to do.
The nearly 300-year-old French city has walkable neighborhoods and scenic public parks dotted with centuries-old oak trees draped in Spanish moss, along with a free ferry and historic market.
New Orleans is perhaps best-known for hosting one of the biggest free parties in the world: Mardi Gras. The Carnival season includes parades with costumed riders, marching bands and decorated floats, but it only lasts a few weeks. But visitors can get a taste of the madness and revelry of Carnival any time of year on Bourbon Street, the city's most famous thoroughfare, where scantily-clad women beckon patrons from strip club doorways and beads are flung from balconies to revelers down below year-round. It's also a hot spot for live music, which spills out onto the street from clubs with doors and windows flung open. Bourbon Street is also the one place where a costume can be flaunted any time of year.
Artists painting on canvas, clowns making balloon animals, street performers and jazz musicians are among the free entertainment to be found in Jackson Square, a one-block section of the French Quarter anchored by a lush green space with benches set amid gardens and grand oak trees. The square is bordered by pedestrian-only walkways with restaurants, storefronts and upper-level balconies boasting decorative ironwork. Benches allow visitors to take in the architecture of the square's historic buildings, including the Cabildo and Pontalba Apartments, believed to be among the oldest apartment buildings in the country.
Visitors are also welcome at St. Louis Cathedral, a place of worship for Catholics since the 1720s. Its towering white facade with three steeples fronts the Mississippi River. Inside are religious mosaics, colorful stained glass and a small gift shop. Masses are held daily and free concerts are held regularly, and .
City Park is the largest green space in New Orleans with more than 1,300 acres of gardens, lagoons and walking trails set amid centuries-old oak trees draped in Spanish moss and filled with birds,
The New Orleans Museum of Art is located in the park, and while there's a fee to enter the museum, just beyond the museum are dozens of art objects you can see for free in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The sculptures, valued at more than $25 million, can be viewed in a relaxing setting that includes meandering footpaths, pedestrian bridges and reflecting lagoons. Among the artists represented are Antoine Bourdelle, Gaston Lachaise, Henry Moore, Jacques Lipchitz, Barbara Hepworth and Seymour Lipton.
A boat ride is one of the best ways to get a look at the New Orleans skyline and the Mississippi River's daily parade of river barges, steamships and cruise ships. The Algiers Point ferry, which has been in operation since the early 1800s, is free to pedestrians. It runs every 30 minutes between the landing at the foot of Canal Street near the Aquarium of the Americas and the historic Algiers Point neighborhood directly across the river from the French Quarter.
Algiers Point, established in 1719, boasts a trove of historic Victorian-style homes, magnolia tree-lined streets with several parks, cafes, historic churches and bars with live music. But perhaps its best feature is an unobstructed view of the city skyline and river traffic, from enormous cargo vessels to the city's iconic Natchez paddlewheel boat. Visitors can also enjoy a free self-guided tour of the Algiers Point neighborhood with the help of an online brochure from the Algiers Historical Society, .
The smell of sweet pralines and freshly-brewed coffee wafts through the air of the New Orleans French Market. The centuries-old commercial hub stretches for several city blocks along the banks of the Mississippi River in the French Quarter and includes Cafe du Monde, home of the deep-fried, sugar-coated beignet, a popular New Orleans pastry. The market is a mix of open-air retail spaces dotted with produce stands and enclosed stores carrying specialty clothing and jewelry. It's an ideal destination for window-shopping and people-watching.
Visitors can watch candy-makers mix up batches of pralines, a New Orleans treat made with brown sugar and pecans, or stop by an open-air flea market where eye-catching jewelry, accessories and handmade crafts are sold. Newer vendor spaces have ceiling fans and full kitchens where cooks prepare meals using fresh Louisiana produce and seafood. The French Market dates to 1791 and was originally the site of a Native American trading post. European immigrants traded there, as did African-Americans selling coffee, pralines and calas, a rice fritter popular in 19th century New Orleans. Choctaw Indians from north of Lake Pontchartrain sold herbs, spices and handmade crafts. Many such items are sold in the market today, .

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beijing Is Not The Only Asian City With Lethal Air Pollution

Air Pollution in Shanghai , China
A view of the Oriental Pearl TV tower and downtown Shanghai. A report in the Lancet says that worldwide, a record 3.2 million people died from air pollution in 2010, compared with 800,000 in 2000. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The Chinese capital is just one of hundreds of cities where poisonous air is the fastest growing cause of death
Air pollution in Beijing has been described as "apocalyptic"  with people choking their way through murky streets, short of breath and their eyes stinging from toxic air. But Beijing is just one of hundreds of cities, largely in Asia, where poisonous air is now the fastest growing cause of death in urban populations.
In the past few months there have been acute air pollution incidents reported in Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Pakistan. In Tehran, the desperate authorities had to close all public offices, schools, universities and banks twice in the last two months; In Nepal the army has had to give up its cars and in Kabul it has been reported that there are now more deaths as a result of air and water pollution than from conflict.
Statistics are unreliable, with few cities able to monitor accurately either the source or the level of the cocktail of pollutants emitted by traffic, ships, industry, brick kilns and domestic heating. But go to the hospitals and doctors will tell you that up to 80% of people admitted come with respiratory or other chronic diseases linked to air pollution. In Tehran, more than 4,500 people were said to have died last year because of air pollution – but because cancers can take years to develop the true figure may be far higher.
Perhaps because there are no drugs available to counter air pollution, it has never been taken as seriously by governments as other diseases like HIV/Aids or malaria, even though the World Health Organisation estimates more than 2 million people worldwide die every year from bad air and that it is now among the top 10 killers in the world. But governments may have to act as new research shows it to be rapidly worsening.
The biggest study done so far, published one month ago in the Lancet suggested that, worldwide, a record 3.2 million people died from air pollution in 2010, compared with 800,000 in 2000. The annual Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report ranked air pollution for the first time in the world's top 10 list of killer diseases, with 1.2 million deaths a year in east Asia and China, and 712,000 in south Asia, including India.
But while Beijing got the headlines this week, there is mounting evidence that air pollution in India is as bad, if not worse, than in ChinaA study conducted by satellite imagery by Tel Aviv University last year reported that Indian megacities were seeing double digit increases in air pollution. From 2002 to 2010, said the paper, Bangalore saw the second highest increase in air-pollution levels in the world at 34%,with Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur and Ahmedabad not far behind. Improvements in car and fuel technology have been made since 2000 but these are nullified by the sheer increase in car numbers. Nearly 18m cars are expected to be sold this year alone in India.
The blame is variously levelled on the geography of cities, the inversion of temperatures especially in cold months which trap pollutants, the vastly increasing number of cars, power plants, forest fires and the boom in building construction. However, the Lancet study found that it was specifically the type of air pollution caused by car and truck exhaust that was doing the most health damage.
There is increasing evidence too that the air pollution now plaguing cities is because the fuel being burned by millions of cars and motorbikes is heavily contaminated by dealers who mix petrol and diesel with kerosene, waste industrial solvents and other additives to produce cheaper fuel. The result is a cocktail of poisonous emissions, many of which are not picked up by government monitoring stations and which are not filtered out by catalytic converters.
The scale of illegal fuel adulteration is unknown, but academic studies suggest it is rampant in poor countries like Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan, all of which depend on importing fuel from outside. One study in Nepal found that at least half the motorbikes in use had engines damaged by contaminated fuel.
But rich countries should not think their air is clean. A report by the European environment agency found that almost one third of Europe's city dwellers are exposed to PM10 particulate concentrations above EU legal limits and 90-95% to concentrations of smaller and even more deadly PM2.5 particulates. If nothing is done to improve it, the EU expects to see 200,000 premature deaths a year in Europe by 2020 due to particle emissions alone.
EU environment commissioner Janez Potočnik spelled out the financial costs on the European economy in September: "Clean air is an investment. We cannot afford not to act. In monetary terms … the associated costs [will] amount to between €189-609bn per year in 2020. Our current analysis shows that if we do nothing, we will see 200,000 premature deaths in the EU by 2020 due to particle emissions alone - but with concerted action, this number can be pushed down to 130,000. To invest in clean air means to invest in our future."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

5 Remarkably Affordable Travel Destinations

LearnVest, Contributor
Empowering people to live their richest lives.

We tend to think that we need to save up thousands of dollars in order to justify taking those vacation days and heading out of town. But we might not need quite as much as we think.
Even with a tight budget, you can still score amazing travel memories at a great price–you simply have to choose the right place.

We combed the globe for memorable escapes that won’t require you to take out a second mortgage. They run about 20% to 70% cheaper than marquee destinations, with just as much to see, do and enjoy.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is a sumptuous European capital--at a discount.
With the façades of many of its buildings decorated with azulejos–tiles painted in flowery, intricate blue designs–Lisbon rivals the beauty of many other European capitals, and you’ll pay about 20% less for lodging.
The local economy is still reeling from the country’s financial crisis, which means that hotels are offering deep discounts on rooms to lure foreign tourist dollars. Despite the austerity, the city feels sumptuous, with its well-restored colonial-era castle, Castelo de São Jorge; colonnaded plazas and countless art galleries and museums.
Best Bargain: Lisbon has a major sweet tooth and is well known for its pastries. The typical price of its signature custard tarts will only set you back 0.75 euro (about $1.10). You’ll pay a little extra for the version of the dessert called pasteis de Belém at the city’s famous Antiga Confeitaria de Belém.
2. Québec City

The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel is a designated historic site in Quebec City.
This Canadian city offers stellar French cuisine and architecture for much less than Paris. The U.S. dollar is roughly equal to the Canadian dollar, so prices for our neighbor to the north are alluring when compared to the euro–the exchange rate of which puts a 30% premium on everything in France.
Inside Québec City’s centuries-old walls, you can check out glass-blowing factories, shops like La Petite Cabane à Sucre de Québec that sell maple syrup and the annual winter festival of Carnival, when towering ice sculptures and horse-drawn sleighs take over the city.
Best Bargain: Get a bird’s-eye view of the city by riding the finicular for just $2. The steep railroad line is open year-round, and shuttles visitors between the cliff-top portion of the city and its port town, known for having some of the oldest streets in North America.
3. Roatán, Honduras

Roatán, the biggest of Honduras' Bay Islands, is a favorite scuba destination.
The word is getting out about the first-class diving, ecotourism and zip-lining adventures available for discount prices inRoatán, a Bay Island off the coast of Honduras.
In November 2012, American Airlines began direct flights from Miami, and many other carriers have been increasing flights to its pink-and-white sand beaches via connections in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Once in Roatán, expect to pay approximately half the price of lodging on a higher-profile Caribbean island.
Best Bargain: A scuba dive in the local bay waters–through a tropical hallucination of colorful fish in the world’s second-largest barrier reef–typically costs a mere $40, roughly half the cost of an underwater plunge in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Image Credit:
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico
albuquerque intl balloon fiesta
The popular Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is held every fall--and draws about 800,000 visitors.
Hiking high in the hills is a cost-effective (and heart-healthy) getaway, but many of America’s most famous parks are located in hard-to-reach spots. The solution: Head to Albuquerque, a town in central New Mexico whose well-connected airport is a mere half-hour away from scenic parkland.
Trails cross vistas of red rock and aspen forest, Native American pueblo homes and fascinating desert plant life. Get the lay of the land by riding the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, which breezes visitors between the town’s northwestern corner and the top of the Sandia Mountains, lifting you 6,000 feet above the city skyline. Another don’t miss: the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is host to hundreds of hot air balloons each autumn.
Best Bargain: Artsy hotels in Albuquerque, such as the Andaluz and Hotel Parq Central, charge rates that are usually one-fourth less than the price of comparably stylish properties in major U.S. cities–delivering a touch of glamour at a discount.
Image Credit:

5. Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

The view from the Grand Velas Nuevo Vallarta in Nayarit, Mexico.
Our southern neighbor has always been a relative bargain, but the U.S. dollar’s exchange rate against the Mexican peso has become especially favorable over time, improving by about 30% over the past decade.
Your money should go far in Cancún, with its colorful beach resorts, as well as in Oaxaca, the gastronomic heart of the country. But you may find the best bang for your buck in lesser-known Riviera Nayarit, a Pacific resort area that’s north of Puerto Vallarta and a four-hour flight from Chicago. The 180-mile coastline has undergone a building boom in the past two decades, but its American visitor numbers are still down from 2007 highs, prompting locals to dish out discounts to woo visitors to their beachside resorts and whale-spotting boat tours.
Best Bargain: All-inclusive offers deliver the most value here. You can get condo-style lodging, all meals, local transport and flights for a single price from reputable travel agencies.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kayak Now Predicts When To Get Best Rates On Air Travel, "Buy" or "Wait" Advice.

Bing also offers "buy" or "wait" advice.

Kayak is now offering travelers advice on when to buy their airline tickets by predicting whether the price for a flight will rise or fall during the next week.
The fare comparison site's new feature provides a recommendation to "book now" if the ticket price is expected to rise in the next week -- or to "wait" if the price could drop.
The new recommendations for travelers are based on calculations about the pricing history from more than a billion queries a year that the online service says it conducts.
"We want (travelers) to get to the best decision for their needs as easily as possible," says Robert Birge, Kayak's chief marketing officer.
Kayak says it developed the forecasts with algorithms and mathematical models that are based on past pricing history from two reservation services, online travel agents, wholesalers and low-cost carriers.
But Kayak can't guarantee the predictions will be correct. So if a traveler clicks on the prediction, the site will have an overlay explaining how confident Kayak is in the prediction. And, the site always tells travelers: "If you see a good price, book it.

Still, Giorgos Zacharia, Kayak's chief scientist says that the feature "provides the most accurate and most comprehensive information."
"It's yet another information tool that we provide our travelers," Zacharia says.
The concept of giving fliers advice on when to buy isn't new to the airfare comparison and booking business.
Norm Rose, president of Travel Technology Consulting, says the concept of price predictions was introduced by Farecast, which Microsoft bought in 2008 and which became the foundation for Bing Travel.
Rose says a key question is whether the predictions are accurate. Another question is whether a traveler has the flexibility to wait before buying a ticket based on the site's advice.
But Rose says Kayak is technically savvy and the predictions are likely based on solid technology. "If consumers try out the service and it is not accurate, it will likely not gain strong adoption," Rose says.
Bing says it analyzes millions of fares daily and filters the information for the best deals.
Bing Travel Price Predictor advises travelers whether fares are rising, holding steady or dropping, and whether to "buy" or "wait."
Bing, which launched in 2009, uses billions of price observations to predict patterns in ticket prices, according to spokeswoman Kari Dilloo. Besides price, the site also will connect travelers with Facebook friends and Twitter experts to make suggestions about where to stay and what to do on a trip, she says.
"And since Bing doesn't actually sell travel, our only focus is to connect you with helpful information that can keep you coming back," Dilloo says.
Kayak, however, says its predictions will be more comprehensive because they tap more information than Bing does.
"You need to use your judgment," Kayak's Birge says. "What we want to provide is as much information as possible."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Most Innovative Travel Luggage Is From Genius Pack

We've recently had the opportunity to sample the most innovative luggage we've experienced from a new brand called Genius Pack. Innovative features include an interior panel with designated compartments for packing needs with a toiletry kit included, air valve compression technology to
expel excess air for efficient packing, a removable zip-out compartment for dirty laundry, a compact
umbrella with easy access, a portable battery to recharge mobile devices,  an integrated compact speaker,
a permanent packing list sewn into the interior, and a strap-down jacket wrap.

For more details please go to:  and for a great video demonstration go to

Friday, January 4, 2013

One Of The Most Important Trends In The Travel Industry Is Marketing To And Understanding The Chinese Consumer. Therefore I Am Sharing This Very Good Article With Our Readers.

by Rafat Ali, Skift
It starts out well, or well-meaning at least. Chinese outbound tourism is the fastest and biggest growing sector in travel, as outbound tourists rose to 70.3 million in 2011, and are expected to rise to 82 million this year, up 17 percent. And everyone wants these hordes of Chinese travelers spending money, especially the recession and debt crisis beset European countries.
From hotels, airports, malls, and retailers hiring Manadarin speaking concierge services, to countries easing visa norms and doing joint marketing agreements with China, the efforts run the gamut. And most of the time, in the name of being sensitive to the Chinese cultural needs, some tourism organizations and companies resort to cultural shorthands, or cliches, while dealing with the guests.
For instance, Switzerland, a sophisticated tourism marketer as far as countries go, is in a Chinese marketing overdrive: As its mainstay German travelers are shying away, Chinese are among the fastest-growing groups, populating the Alps and buying its famous and pricey watches.
It recently came out with detailed norms and guidelines for its hotel industry on working with Chinese travelers, titled “Swiss Hospitality for Chinese Guests.” And the document, while very detailed and useful, resorts to plenty of cliches about Chinese culture in general, some surely useful, and some borderline offensive. We’ve extracted the best one below:
  • Treat your Chinese guests respectfully. They are proud to be citizens of the People’s Republic of China as well as of the economic and political success of their home country. Discussions on politically sensitive matters like human rights, regional independence movements, Taiwan, etc. should be conducted with great care and diplomacy – your Chinese counterpart often does not feel at ease discussing controversial matters.
  • Many Chinese understand only little English, German or French: Chinese signalling at the most popular tourist spots of the destination as well as for generally important information (airports, train stations, cable cars, museums, entrance, exit, bathrooms, etc.) is a must.
  • Chinese are “last-minute travellers,” they don’t really plan their trip, and they don’t like to wait: Show flexibility with regard to the suggestions of your Chinese guests and provide fast response and service.
  • Chinese visitors have high expectations: Show as much flexibility as possible and take into account their requests.
  • If possible do not assign rooms on the 4th floor or containing a “4” (4, 14, 24, 34, etc.) in the room number to Chinese travellers as this number is associated with death. In particular room numbers containing “6”, “8” or “9” or being located on the 6th, 8th, and the 9th floor are considered to be lucky rooms.
  • Provide clear operational instruction in Chinese about Pay-TV and indicate that the fee is not included in the room rate or the package.
  • Assign your Chinese guests rooms with twin beds: The members of the group travelling together will, in general, not have known each other before starting the trip.
  • Ensure fast check-in and check-out service: Chinese get rather impatient if they have to wait.
  • Chinese love to drink hot tea or hot water at almost any time of the day (or night): Provide an electrical water cooker or a thermos containing hot water as well as free tea and coffee in the rooms. Hot water or hot tea is usually served at lunch and dinner as well.
  • Chinese travel with little luggage: Provide a basic selection of accessories for daily use, such as shampoo, tooth brush and tooth paste, in their room.
  • Chinese prefer to spend their free time in a group: Take this fact into account, when proposing leisure activities during their trip.
  • Chinese dine early (at about 7 p.m.) and go to sleep rather late: Let them know what kind of evening entertainment the destination offers (shows, movies, bars, etc.)
  • Chinese are evening and weekend shoppers: Make sure your shop is open when they come and adapt the opening hours.
  • Shopping is also a social event: Be prepared to deal with a whole group of customers at once and entertain them with some small talk.
  • The Chinese love variety: therefore, offer to your Chinese guests several small dishes rather than just one big dish. Put emphasis upon using different kinds of food stuffs (meat, vegetables, eggs, etc.).
  • Chinese eat quickly: try and serve the food all at the same time and please don’t take it as a mark of disrespect when the Chinese leave the table immediately – as soon as they have put down their cutlery  or chopsticks.
  • Avoid using too many milk products (cream, cheese, butter) and be moderate in the use of salt.
  • The Chinese like foods which are liquid and soft. However, baked goods are not very common in China.
  • Soft-boiled eggs are not so much appreciated. So please boil them longer.
  • Hot drinks (and often simply hot water) are preferred to cold drinks.
  • A basic selection of Chinese food, such as rice, stewed or fried vegetables and sliced meat (chicken, beef, veal, pork) or fish should be available at all meals.
  • Reserve a big, if possible round, table for your Chinese guests: The group travelling together will, in principle, prefer to eat together.
  • Chinese like to combine different dishes and tastes: It is appreciated if all courses are served together. The soup will, in principle, be served at the end of the meal.
  • Together with the classical European cutlery, chop sticks – placed on the right side of the bowl or dish – should be provided for each person. Chop sticks should never be stuck into the food – this will be associated with bad luck or even death. Otherwise the usual European tableware and decoration will be appreciated by your Chinese guests.
  • Chinese eat early: Breakfast at 7.00 a.m., lunch at 12.00 noon and dinner at 7.00 p.m. are quite standard eating hours for Chinese tourists.