Exclusive: Rising Cities in China

The biggest names in China travel are Beijing, Shanghai and Xian, but Travel Agent was lucky enough to get the scoop on the next destinations in China that ought to be on your radar.

We met with Xinhong Zhang, director of the New York office for the China National Tourist Office, who tells us that the next destinations to watch in China are Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Xiamen, Chongqing and Chengdu. These cities are already seeing a buzz of activity in terms of hotel growth and tourism focus and are sure to explode as points of interest in the coming years. "These are second tier cities for China's future," says Zhang.

China as a whole has seen arrivals go up 17 percent through August of this year, and the Shanghai Expo, which is wrapping up this month, brought in over 64 million visitors. In fact, its China Pavilion is going to become a new site for tourism.

This year American Airlines opened nonstop service to Beijing from Chicago and is applying for similar service from Los Angeles to Shanghai.

Travel within Asia from China is also incredibly easy, with flights daily to Korea, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and India. Visit Discover Asia Now here.

"The best way for agents to sell China is to work directly with tour operators and airlines, who have existing packages and know the destination," Zhang tells Travel Agent.

Visit www.cnto.org.