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In-depth China tour attracts Russians

Instead of skimming through major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, more and more Russian tourists are choosing to explore China in a different way, president of the Russia-China Club (RCC) told Xinhua.

Sergei Zhang Sha, whose club is a consortium of travel companies dealing with cross-border tourism with China, said that Russia's travel agencies have developed more tour routes presenting China in different ways.

"Travel embedded with historical exploration is especially popular among Russians," he said.

The RCC has developed a handful of products focusing on China's tourist sites of world heritage, spanning cities like Xi'an, Luoyang, Hangzhou and Suzhou, Zhang Sha said.

"Some of the products are specially designed for clients and the prices are relatively high," said Zhang Sha, "But we are convinced that such demands exist in Russia."

Traditional Chinese customs and culture are also very appealing for Russian travelers, he said.

"Travelers can now live in traditional quadrangle courtyards in Beijing, buy food themselves from the market and cook Chinese cuisine in their own dwellings," Zhang Sha said.

"They get closer to Beijingers' traditional life through such experiential travels."

He revealed another appeal for Russian travelers is traditional Chinese medicine. "For example, about 80 percent of Russian tourists in (China's south) Hainan Province choose to take Chinese traditional therapies there," he said.

Zhang Sha, the son of a Chinese father and a Russian mother, said he is optimistic about the popularity of China tours among Russians and expects "more satisfactory results in the future."