--FILE--Tourists crowd the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River against the skyline of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers in the Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, 21 October 2017. China earned 5.4 trillion yuan (850 billion U.S. dollars) from tourism in 2017, an increase of 15.1 percent, the China Tourism Academy said Tuesday (6 February 2018). Chinese tourists made 5 billion domestic trips and 131 million overseas trips in 2017, up 12.8 percent and 7 percent respectively, according to the latest analytical report released by the academy. Last year saw 139 million inbound trips, a rise of 0.8 percent from 2016, of which 75 percent were from Asia. Preliminary data showed the industry contributed 9.13 trillion yuan to GDP, accounting for 11 percent of economic output. Tourism created 80 million jobs, or 10.28 percent of the country's employed population. Some 385 million Chinese are expected to travel around during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday which will span from February 15 to 21, representing an increase of 12 percent, the report estimated. Domestic tourism revenue is projected to increase by 12.5 percent to 476 billion yuan during the holiday.
--FILE--Tourists crowd the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River against the skyline of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers in the Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, 21 October 2017. China earned 5.4 trillion yuan (850 billion U.S. dollars) from tourism in 2017, an increase of 15.1 percent, the China Tourism Academy said Tuesday (6 February 2018). Chinese tourists made 5 billion domestic trips and 131 million overseas trips in 2017, up 12.8 percent and 7 percent respectively, according to the latest analytical report released by the academy. Last year saw 139 million inbound trips, a rise of 0.8 percent from 2016, of which 75 percent were from Asia. Preliminary data showed the industry contributed 9.13 trillion yuan to GDP, accounting for 11 percent of economic output. Tourism created 80 million jobs, or 10.28 percent of the country's employed population. Some 385 million Chinese are expected to travel around during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday which will span from February 15 to 21, representing an increase of 12 percent, the report estimated. Domestic tourism revenue is projected to increase by 12.5 percent to 476 billion yuan during the holiday. Yan daming

TRAVEL: Spend your new year in China

IF you liked having a New Year's party and you would like to have another then China is the place to be on the Friday, February 16. It is when the Chinese welcome in their New Year. It's a time of festivals and being with family. This coming year they will celebrate the year of the Dog. It is a time in China where instead of working hard they close the factories every goes home to their Families for a few days.

All over China it's celebration time however I would say take a holiday to Shanghai at this time of Year there are festivals everywhere, the city explodes in a vibrant red with a plethora of lanterns throughout the city, dragon dancers, Fireworks displays just to mention a few things you will notice while walking around the city.

When I was there I found the people where friendly, one incident in particular was when I was walking through Peoples Square with my wife and some university students from Xian (another fascinating city in China where you will find the Terra Cotta Warriors) came up to us and struck up a conversation in English. Mandarin being China's nationally recognized language, and me only knowing how to say "hello” and "thank you” in Mandarin, it was nice to be able to communicate with the students who were keen to practice their English and learn more about Australia. It added to the whole experience of Shanghai.

The accommodation in Shanghai was no different to from any other major city in the world. There are five-star hotels down to two-star and backpackers properties. I found getting around Shanghai was not a difficult task as we caught taxi's most of the time which generally only cost around $6 or$7AU. The underground rail network was cheap, clean, efficient and reliable. A trick is to see the hotel concierge and ask for a business card before you leave for sight seeing, that way you can show the card to the taxi driver when you wish to return to your hotel, this will avoid confusion with the language difficulties.

As for getting to Shanghai Qantas has direct flights out of Sydney from around $1175 per person return however if you open to traveling with another airlines than you can buy an airfare with China Eastern Airlines from around $1075 return.

Shanghai is a successful combination of East meets West. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of the city - relatively clean, easy to get around, a forest of interesting architecture, amazing food, great shopping and full of friendly and exciting people. Do keep in mind that if you are planning a trip at this time of year it is not uncommon to see places closed for a few days. Probably the only time of year the Chinese people put their feet up.

On a closing note I will put my Astrology hat on. 2018 is the year of the Dog, This is a sign of jinx in Chinese horoscopes when a Dog meets another Dog. That means people born in the year of Dog won't have good luck during any Dog years. The scene is that if a Dog is passing by a land with a local Dog tyrant in charge. If the traveling Dog can keep quiet, then it will be safe and pass the land. If the traveling Dog wants to mess with or challenge the tyrant, then trouble will come to the traveling Dog during its journey.

Therefore, if you are the traveling Dog under somebody's territory, then you had better play low-profile during that journey. You should realize that your people relationship, love relationship, money luck or job development could encounter a certain limitation in the cycle of the Dog.

The above is not completely true. According to Chinese Yin Yang Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth) astrology, our astrology birth chart built by our birthday and birth time contains different amounts of Five Elements. Imbalanced Five Elements will bring us bad luck.

Dog is in the Earth group. Earth year will bring more Earth to you. If you already have too much Earth in your astrology birth chart, then you won't do well during the Earth years. If you have only a few Earth in your birth chart, then the Earth always brings you good luck.

Dog is Male Earth, which is connected to mountain or alpine. Two dogs together are just as two mountains sit next to each other. Water represents money to Dog. Mountain can absorb rainwater very easily, then Water quickly run down to the bottom of the mountain. That implies you have difficulty to save the money. The sign is money easily in and out.

Dog Month is October, the month before the winter. Dog Hour is 7pm to 9pm which is the time after sunset. When Sun disappears, people will turn on the light and prepare to take a rest. Two dogs are connected to a mountain behind another mountain. That is a sign of blockage and stop. That is also a hint of taking rest and recharging energy.

Glad I'm a Dog.


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