3 min read

Everybody meets in Berlin

Everybody meets in Berlin

Dear reader,

China is preparing for the “two sessions”, the annual law-making session, the tourism world is preparing for ITB Berlin. Both will happen in the coming week.

China has come out of the festive mood of celebrating the Wood Dragon Years arrival. The Lantern Festival that marks the end of Spring Festival and is celebrated with lanterns displays, happened last weekend. Unfortunately in many places in China the traditional stroll to look at the lanterns was interrupted by bad weather, with snow in the North and Northwest, heavy smog in Central China and rain in the South. Domestic tourism saw a new record in spending, even though the spending per trip declined. Outbound tourism reached almost 60% of the 2019 level.

Coming back to normal also meant facing the harsh economic realities of current China. The Real Estate crisis is going on, causing the stockmarket in Shanghai to lose almost 2 percent in a single trading day today. The Hang-Seng-Index in Hong Kong SAR almost went south by 1.4 percent.

The Albatros around the neck of Chinese stocks turned out to be Country Garden, losing 12 percent after it became known that a creditor filed for liquidation of the company, after Country Garden failed to pay back 205 million USD in time.

A lawsuit brought in Hong Kong by Ding Yumei, the ex-wife of Hui Ka-yan, the founder of the even bigger defaulting real estate company, China Evergrande, against her own son, named Xu Tenghe, for an unpaid loan of about 130 million USD is another colourful episode in this saga. Analysts are pointing out that this might after all be an attempt by family members of Hui to move their money to prevent it from being confiscated. Xu’s and his father’s assets could be confiscated by courts in mainland China as the two are currently under investigation and in custody.

In the political sphere the wave of dismissals and resignations continues ahead of the ‘two sessions’ meeting. Feng Jiehong, chairman of CASIC-affiliated aerospace group, joins former foreign minister Qin Gang in resignation. No reasons were given for the departures, which follow the recent dismissals of a number of defence-related National People’s Congress (NPC) deputies and the dismissal of nine PLA generals, including a number of senior Rocket Force personnel.

For tourism experts, Berlin is the place to be in the coming week. Hopefully many of our readers will be able to come to ITB Berlin and to visit the China tourism panel organised by WTCF World Tourism Cities Federation. Among the speakers will also be the author of this text. The panel is scheduled for May 5th, 16.45 h in Hall 7b of ITB Berlin. Participation is free, but you will need an entry ticket for the fair.

This week’s COTRI INTELLIGENCE is continuing with a new form for the Topic of the Week. We are providing our readers with a video preview of the new CTT China Tourism Training sessions. Each COTRI INTELLIGENCE week a peek into one of the more than 60 sessions will be given. However, this week we show a longer snippet from the CTT No. 2 in different languages to demonstrate the many options in original languages the training program offers. CTT trainings sessions programs are covering all kind of important topics, each within 20 minutes. More information can be found here:


In the Facts&Views section of this week we show the interesting differences between same-day trips and overnight stays in Hong Kong SAR for each month in 2019 and in 2023, highlighting also the dangers of just looking at arrival numbers.

In Deep Dive we discuss the possibilities of using AI and Avatars for tourism marketing for the Chinese – and other - tourism source markets.

Please make use of a Premium or Premium Plus subscription to be able to access all parts of COTRI INTTELLIGENCE. Celebrating the Year of the Wood Dragon, we have prolonged our special one month welcoming subscription, with a 59% discount.

Look here: https://cotri-intelligence.ghost.io/welcoming-offer.

Again, all best wishes to our readers from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the entire COTRI INTELLIGENCE team for the New Year!