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China becoming popular tourism destination for Ukrainians


08:43, May 17, 2013

KIEV, May 16 (Xinhua) -- China is becoming an increasingly popular tourism destination for Ukrainians, a travel agent said Thursday.

"China offers good quality tourism services, combined with hospitality and reasonable prices," said Irina Melanjina, Asia department head of the Kiev-based "Well-Travel" agency.

"Furthermore, Ukrainians like China for its nice hotels and the delicious Chinese cuisine," Melanjina said.

The Ukrainian State Statistics Service said that more than 37,000 Ukrainians visited China in the last two years, up 31 percent from the 2009-2010 period.

Melanjina noted that the tourism market has changed.

"Whereas previously, 70 percent of Ukrainians went to China for business trips, now nearly half of travelers buy vacation tours," she said.

The most popular Chinese destinations for Ukrainians are big cities such as Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. Historical sites and natural reserves like mountains, valleys, lakes and waterfalls are also popular, Melanjina said.

"Various festivals and professional exhibitions in the country and around the world also make China a desirable place to visit," she said.

Among the challenges facing China-bound tourism from Ukraine, Melanjina said, is a lack of direct flights between the two countries.

In addition, beach tourism is underdeveloped because it is difficult for Ukrainians to get to Hainan Island, Melanjina said.

"China is a very large and diverse country. People who visited it once want to come back to see new places. With the increase of income of Ukrainians, the number of travelers to China will grow," she said.

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