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More Chinese tourists.

An Air China executive says direct service to The Bahamas is not an option but China's flag carrier is targeting more flights to North American hubs and striking up partnerships with local carriers to funnel traffic into the Caribbean, reports The Nassau Guardian (Feb. 22, 2012):

Zhihang Chi, VP/Gen. Mgr. for North America, said the airline has ordered $10.7 billion worth of new aircraft that will help it to achieve this end. "The only way to make flights work into the Caribbean is to fly into a thick gateway city, such as Miami, Atlantis or New York City," he explained. "From there, put Chinese passengers on a connecting flight operated by say JetBlue or Southwest or American Eagle." Chinese tourism in The Bahamas and region at large has served as a persistent buzz word among tourism officials;

On Cable Beach, the $2.6 billion Baha Mar broke ground one year earlier. Funded by the Export-Import Bank of China, with construction provided by China Construction America, this country's ties with the emerging superpower are on the rise. The China Business network said up to 100 million Chinese will travel abroad by 2015. Less than 10 million traveled abroad in 1999, and 65 million did so in 2011. The average Chinese tourist spends $6,500, he said, mostly because travelers enjoy shopping in foreign locales.
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Title Annotation:THE REGION
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:50CAR
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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