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Subject: Tourism Venture Planning Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual Essay Example

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China is located in Eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean and borders the Korea Bay, the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea and the South China Sea. The country also borders a significant number of countries including Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan’s section of Kashmir, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan Nepal, India, Burma, North Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Sikkim and Bhutan (Shabad, 1972, p.5). The position of China is illustrated on the map below.

Subject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual

Map showing China and her neighbours

Source: Travel. state.org (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1089.html)

The country covers an area of approximately 9.6 km2 and is the fourth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, and the United States. From east to west, the territory of the country spans over 62 longitudes, and from the north to south, the country spans over 49 latitudes (see map above).

China’s landscape

China has a splendid landscape with many famous tourist attractions. The list of tourist attractions is endless: 99 famous national cultural and historical sites, 750 national cultural sites under government protection, as well as 119 major scenic resorts and sites of cultural and historical interest. In fact, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included 27 prominent Chinese scenic places on its list of world cultural and natural heritage sites (Asia-planet.net 2002).

China has seven ancient capitals: Xi’an, Luoyang, Nanjing, Kaifeng, Hangzhou, Anyang and Beijing. All these regions are attractive and worth visiting for the features they have. In addition, there are other significant attractions such as the mountains along River Lijiang, and the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River and the country scene south of the river are just amazing. Further, Mount Huangshan and Mount Omei are big attractions to visitors in China. The Huangguoshu Waterfall and Lunan Stone Forest are distinct and worth looking at. The Inner Mongolia region has vast prairies, and in the northeast region of China, there are rimed trees and snow-covered lands that transform the city of Jilin into a shiny wonderland that offers a unique sight-seeing experience in very low temperatures (Asia-planet.net 2002). One of the most significant man-made features in China is the Great Wall, whose first part was built between the 6th and 7th century, the second part being completed between the 14th and 17th century (Richardson, 2005, p. 10-15). These areas guarantee satisfaction to any person visiting China.

China’s climate

Because of its vast territory and complicated terrain, China’s climate varies widely. The nation has a wide range of temperature and rainfall zones that include monsoon and continental areas. During winter, most of the country becomes cold and dry while in summer it is hot and rainy. The region has five temperature regions: the cold-temperate zone that includes the northern part of Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia; the mid-temperate zone that includes northern Xinjiang, Jilin, and most of Heilongjiang, the warm-temperate zone which includes areas near the Yellow River, Shanxi, Shandong, Shaanxi and Hubei province; the tropical zone that includes southern Taiwan, Hainan province, Yunnan province, and Guangdong; and the plateau climate zone that includes the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (ChinaTravelGuide 2011).

China’s average precipitation is 629 millimetres, but the distribution is uneven and decreases steadily from coastal areas in the southeast region to inland areas in the northwest. The monsoon climate experienced in most parts of the country produces inconsistent seasonal precipitation (Chinatravel.com). Monsoons are known to be the main cause of rainfall in China. Between April and May, monsoons occur in the southern provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan. In June, south China receives more rainfall and the same happens in north China between July and August. Around October, monsoons retreat from the Chinese region. The northwest part of China is however not affected by monsoons (ChinaTravelGuide 2011).

Trees in south china stay green throughout the year. In the northeast region of China, temperature changes rapidly between morning and afternoon. As such, people have to wear heavy coats in early morning hours and change into light clothing in the afternoon. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is featured by very low temperature and is extremely cold throughout the year (Chinatravel.com).

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A luxuriant grassland with evergreen trees

Source: http://www.chinatravel.com/facts/general-china/china-climate.htm

Cultural information about China

The Chinese are keen not to waste food, and eat most plants and animals. There is a belief that the Chinese eat any living thing that has four legs. They also eat ants and snakes. To a westerner, this can be surprising, overwhelming, horrifying or even disgusting (Chinahighlights.com).

One’s personal behaviour when in China also really matters. For instance, old people or women holding babies or little kids should be given priority to sit in a public vehicle. In addition, people waiting to board a bus should not get on the bus as soon as the door opens; they need to wait until passengers get off the bus, then let ladies or kids and old people get on the bus first (Topics Online Magazine).

It is also expected that when one talks with another person, he or she should look at the other person in the eyes. Looking aside when talking to someone is considered a sign of impoliteness in China (Topics Online Magazine). Personal contact and too much use of gestures are also regarded inappropriate (In Touch Shanghai 2010).

Travel advice

Once a person arrives in China, he or she is expected to register with the police within 24 hours of arrival. If the visitor stays in a hotel, the staff there will automatically register him or her with the police. However, if the visitor is staying in a private home with friends or a family, he or she should go to the local police station and file his or her personal details with the police (Travel.state.org).

All people travelling from Australia to China are advised to exercise caution and monitor developments that may affect their safety in China because of the dangers of terrorism, crime, civil unrest, and natural disasters. They are also advised to pay attention to personal safety follow media information regarding potential new safety or security threats. Importantly, all visitors should not attempt to travel to the Tibet region without obtaining a travel permit from the Chinese authorities. Caution should also be exercised when travelling to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region due to the volatile security concern in the area. Notably, the World Health Organization (WHO) lately confirmed human deaths caused by avian influenza in China. Australians travelling to China should check their travel insurance to be assured of health safety (Smartraveller.gov.au).

Travel information: visa requirements, customs, health, vaccines

The Chinese government has put in place more stringent requirements in regard to visa issue. People travelling from Australia to China should thus check with the nearby Embassy or Consulate of China for comprehensive information prior to their intended travel date. All Australians travelling overseas, whether for business, tourism or for short or long stays are advised to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade prior to travel. The information they give will help the Australian government to find them in case of an emergency such as a natural disaster, family emergency or any civil disturbance (Australian Government).

Visa application

To avoid unwarranted inconveniences in visa application, people travelling to China must fulfil a number of conditions:

  • The application must be done within three months before the intended date of entry into the Chinese territory

  • Application fees must be paid by any of these means: cash, bank cheque of money order

  • A pre-paid and self-addressed return envelope or sachet must be attached if application is submitted through delivery agencies or by mail

  • Each section of the application form must be duly completed. The applicants must state their Chinese names if they have any. Failure to do this will lead to forfeiture of the application

  • If the passport applied for is to be picked in person, the pink-coloured pick up form must be displayed (Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).

Customs: Clearance of passengers’ baggage

Baggage carried by passengers coming to China and those leaving the country is declared to the Customs factually. There are two channels designed for passengers to go through customs. First is the “Having-things-to-declare Channel” for passengers with baggage that warrants inspection. Second is the “Nothing-to-declare Channel” for passengers with ordinary baggage that does not warrant inspection. Passengers can choose the appropriate channel in accordance with the Customs Proclamation. Passengers who are unsure which channel to go through should use the “Having-things-to-declare Channel.” However, in spite of the channel used, passengers cannot resist to have their baggage inspected (China Customs).

Health and vaccines

The level of medical care and the range of typical medications available in China are often limited, especially outside major cities. In addition, medical personnel in rural areas may not be well equipped in terms of training. However, some hospitals in major cities have specialised facilities for treating foreigners. In most cases, these facilities require cash payment before delivery of services, even for emergency care (Smartraveller.gov.au).

Avian flu is a key concern in China. The Department of Health and Ageing (Australia) thus advises Australians who reside in China for an extended period to go for the condition’s vaccine. However, people are cautioned to seek medical advice before taking antiviral drugs (Smartraveller.gov.au).

Although China has no mandatory requirements for travellers to be vaccinated (WHO 2008), it is advisable for travellers to consider routine vaccination for diseases such as diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, polio, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B and influenza. It is also worthwhile to consider the vaccinations done for travellers such as those against hepatitis A, typhoid and Japanese encephalitis – although this is not recommended for persons who intend to stay for a short term or only in urban areas such as Beijing, where the risk of disease transmission is relatively low (WHO 2008).

Visiting Beijing and other cities

Beijing is unquestionably one of the most visited regions in the world. The capital of China is a sleepless city – a rapidly changing metropolitan that showcases elements of the old and the new. The city has a significant number of historic sites and tourist attractions. Some of the interesting sites are located within a walking distance. Although it may take quite some time for a visitor to see everything that Beijing has to offer, a short stay will allow one to see Beijing’s top-ten attractions. These include the Forbidden City (the Imperial Palace), the Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan), the
Ming Tombs, the Lama Temple (Yonghegong), the Beihai Park (Winter Palace), and the Beijing Capital Museum (Etours.cn).

Great Wall

There are many views of the Great wall, and from Beijing, one can view the Badaling, section located at Yanqing County, over 70 km northwest from the centre of Beijing. The section is a mountain pass of the Jundu Mountainm built in 1505.

a)Subject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 3Subject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 2((b)

(a) The Badaling Great Wall and (b) Some of the important tourist sites in Beijing with Badaling Great Wall highlighted

Source: http://www.thebeijingguide.com/badaling/wall-snake.jpg

Beijing Capital Museum

The key attractions of the Beijing Capital Museum include its showcasing of human and cultural heritage. The museum aims to serve the community and underscore the harmonious integration of the past with the present, art and nature, and history and modernism. Below is a picture of one of the art works in the museum.

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Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 4

Artistic work at the Beijing Capital Museum

Source: http://beijing.etours.cn/attractions/beijing_capital_museum.php

Trip schedule (21 days)

The trip is scheduled to take 21 days and nights, spent in Beijing and other cities as shown below:

From Beijing 3 nights

Xian 2 nights

Nine Villages Valley 2 nights

Chengdu 1 night

Lhasa 3 nights

Lijiang 2 nights

Dali 1 night

Guilin 2 nights

Yangshuo 1 nights

Hangzhou 1 night

Suzhou 1 night

Shanghai 1 night

Day 21~Shanghai Back to Australia


While in Beijing, a visitor can stay at raditional silk shops, department stores, and tea houses (Grand Hyatt Beijing). Subject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 7Subject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 6 ersonal items at the mall. Also adjacent are tSubject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 5Grand Hyatt Beijing hotel. The five star hotel is one of the most preferred facilities that are right in the heart of the city. As such, it is easy to get transport to and from the airport. In addition, the hotel is located just minutes away from the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. From the hotel, it is also easy to make trips to the other top ten sites in Beijing. Grand Hyatt Beijing is part of the Oriental Plaza commercial complex, which offers direct access to a nearby shopping mall. For three-day visit, the visitor can gain access to nearby forex bureaus to exchange their Australian Dollar for the Yuan and shop for p

arious features of the Grand Hyatt BeijingSubject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 8VSource: http://www.beijing.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/gallery/photos.jsp?hotelId=2307&star

It is possible to travel by train from Beijing to Xian but this is time-consuming. China Airline offers cheap flights and this is a better alternative


Xian is located in central-northwest China. It is the location of history such as civilisation along the Yellow River Basin and forms the eastern end of the Silk Road. It is here that one can see the Yangtze River. In this city, a visitor is also able to see the Xian City Wall.

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A view of the Xian City Wall.

Source: http://famouswonders.com/xian-city-walls/

The City Hotel Xian is preferred for accommodation in Xian. The hotel offers modern facilities that are foreign related and is therefore appropriate for an Australian visitor. It is located 45 km from the Xianyang Airport and 3.5 km from the Xian Railway Station. This will allow a visitor to have efficient transport around the city during the two-night stay.

Nine Villages Valley

This is part of the Jiuzhaigou Valley that is located approximately 450 kilometres from Chengdu in Sichuan province (Getaway). The climate of this region is cool temperate with an average annual temperature of 7.2 °C. in January temperature can go as low as -1 °C One can choose from a number of hotels including the InterContinental Resort Jiuzhai Paradise and the Jiuzhaigou Sheraton International Hotel.


The area is located in the centre of Chengdu basin and is the natural habitat of pandas in China. One can also see the Min and Tuo branches of the Yangtze River, which flow through the Chengdu plain. There are many hotels in Chengdu, including La Hotel Chengdu and Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel. The Celebrity City Hotel is located just 18 km from the airport and 5 km from the railway station.

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A view of theCelebrity City Hotel

Source: http://www.chinahotelsreservation.com/Chengdu/Celebrity_City_Hotel_Chengdu.html


Lhasa is located in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The city is situated on a high elevation and has a cool semi-arid climate. The key features and places to visit here during the three-night stay include the temple of Tibet, Potala Palace and a number of monasteries. Key hotels here include the Keray Hotel and the Snow Land Hotel.


Lijiang is a UNESCO world heritage centre and thus of key significance to travellers. The area is an even topography with key historic features and modern commercial activities. See photograph below.

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A view of pagoda is old town Lijiang

Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/811

Key hotels in Lijiang include Wang Fu Hotel, Mu Jia Yuan Inn, Lijiang Old Town Sanhe Dali – Medidemg Hotel and the Regent Hotel Dali


Guilin is a strangely shaped region with karsts or hills. The area also has verdant vegetation that ranges from conifers to bamboos with crystal clear waters and amazing caves. This makes it an appealing destination.

The best time to visit Guilin is between April and October, when most of the area is green. The weather can be very hot, but it is also humid and there is a lot of rainfall. Subject: Tourism Venture Planning
Topic of Assignment: Tour Operators Manual 12

The distance between Lijiang and Guilin is 2,221 miles and this can be travelled by air.

Some of the hotels that can be use during a tour include the Guilin Bravo Hotel (pictured), the Top of FormGuilin Fubo Hotel, the Top of FormBottom of ForGuilin Hotel of Modern Art-Yuzi Paradise and theTop of FormBottom of Form Guilin Lijiang Waterfall Hotel.


Yangshuo is located in the north eastern area of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Its attractions include wonderful natural sceneries, puzzling ancient local dwelling houses as well as myriad local cultures. Temperatures in Yangshuo range between 5.25 °C and 32.05 °C while rainfall varies between varies from 153.0 mm/year to 900.0 mm/year.

Some of the hotels to stay in include the Yangshuo Hotel and the Yangshuo Village Hotel.


Hangzhou is well-known for the West Lake which has five distinct sections. The area around has dense foliage and myriad blossoms especially during spring. Average annual temperature is 16.2°C and summers are hot and humid.

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Important hotels in the city include Zhejiang Xizi Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel Hangzho and Merchant Marco Hotel (pictured).

Source: http://www.mcmchotel.com/english/hotel-info.html


Suzhou city is located on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and shore of Lake Taihu. The region experiences the subtropical monsoon climate. The best time to visit the city is between January and April because it is not too cold during this period.

Key hotels for accommodation during the stay in Suzhou include the Pan Pacific Hotel Suzhou, the Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou and the Shizilin Hotel.


Day 21 will be spent in shanghai and this will also involve preparation to travel back to Australia. It is possible to travel from Suzhou to Shanghai by road but travelling by air is preferable to save time. One of the most outstanding features of Shanghai is the Yuyuan Garden.

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The Yuyuan Garden

Source: http://123the 45-traveladventure.com/2010/02/19/yuyuan-garden-china/

One can spend the night at the proud, renowned and lavish Fairmont Peace Hotel. The hotel gives an ample view of Shanghai’s Huangpu River. It offers a good online booking facility for the traveller’s convenience. The visitors’ rooms of the hotel are luxuriously decorated to offer guests with the best experience.

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Facilities at the Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai

Source: http://www.fairmont.com/peacehotel/Accommodations/

From Shanghai, one does not need to travel back to Beijing to book a flight back to Australia. Shanghai airport offers international to flights to Sydney and Melbourne – which is very convenient for an Australian traveller.


Asia-planet.net 2002, “China landscape: Scenes and sites,” available from http://www.asia-planet.net/china/china-landscape.htm (27 March 2011).

Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, available from https://www.orao.dfat.gov.au/orao/weborao.nsf/homepage?Openpage (28 March 2011).

China Customs, “Customs Clearance of Inward/Outward Passengers’ Carried Baggage,” available from http://english.customs.gov.cn/publish/portal191/tab3972/info69421.htm (28 March 2011).

Chinahighlights.com, “Chinese food,” Available from http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-food/ (27 March 2011).

Chinatravel.com, “China climate,” available from http://www.chinatravel.com/facts/general-china/china-climate.htm (27 March 2011).

ChinaTravelGuide 2011, “China weather,” http://www.travelchinaguide.com/climate/ (27 March 2011).

City Hotel Xian, “City Hotel Xian overview,” available from http://www.cityhotel-xian.cn/
(28 March 2011).

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia, Consular & Visa Office, available from http://au.china-embassy.org/eng/sgjs/jgsz/t57265.htm (28 March 2011).

Etours.cn, 10, “Must see places in Beijing,” available from http://beijing.etours.cn/top_10_must_see_places_in_beijing/ (28 March 2011).

Fairmont Peace Hotel, available from http://www.fairmont.com/peacehotel (28 March 2011).

Getaway, available from http://getaway.ninemsn.com.au/fsasia/china/459114/nine-village-valley (28 March 2011).

Grand Hyatt Beijing, available from http://www.beijing.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?null (28 March 2011).

In Touch Shanghai 27 April 2010, How to behave with CHINA/SHANGHAI people?” Available from http://www.intouchzj.com/shanghai-business/how-to-behave-with-chinashanghai-people (27 March 2011).

Richardson, A. 2005, Great Wall of China, The Creative Company, New York.

Shabad, T. 1972, China’s changing map: national and regional development, 1949-71 (2nd edition), Taylor & Francis, London.

Smartraveller.gov.au, “China,” available from http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/china (27 March 2011).

Topics Online Magazine, The way it’s done in our countries,” available from http://www.topics-mag.com/internatl/traditional-customs.htm (27 March 2011).

Travel.state.org, China, available from http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1089.html (27 March 2011).

WHO 2008, “Guidelines for Immunization for International Travellers to China to participate in or attend the Beijing Olympics – WHO China — August 2008,” available from http://www.who.int/ith/en/index.html (28 March 2011).