Editor’s note: We’ve recently started a new daily roundup of news affecting outbound business, for countries trying to attract Chinese travelers. Follow all news from ChinaOB Daily, here.

  • Newest hotel amenity: In-room rice cooker?: Many Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental and Marriott locations have expanded their menus to include congee — a Chinese rice porridge dish — and dim sum on menus, and a range of green and flavored teas at breakfast. Some Holiday Inn hotels in the San Francisco and Chicago areas will even offer in-room rice cookers on request.
  • Russia goes all out to promote China: The project “Hello, China” launched by leading Russian mass media…will present a series of articles about China for the Russian audience within 100 days. The project is carried out within the framework of the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia, started in 2013 in response to the Year of Russian tourism in China held in 2012.
  • Tourism NZ to lead dev of China service delivery toolkit for its industry: Tourism New Zealand will be leading the development of a China service delivery “toolkit”, to enable its tourism sector to better meet the needs of Chinese visitors. The first stage of the toolkit is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.
  • Swiss luxury hotels eye Chinese tourists: Leading luxury hotels in Switzerland are looking for more affluent middle-class Chinese tourists. Chinese tourists arrival to Swiss five-star hotels saw a growth of 25 percent in 2012 followed by the visitors from the Gulf countries, Brazil and India.
  • Australian town building replica of Forbidden City and Buddha to attract Chinese tourists: Australia’s coastal Wyong region outside Sydney, a pretty stretch of pristine beaches and wildlife-filled wetlands, isn’t high on the travel agenda of most Chinese tourists. But the local mayor and a Chinese businessman have big plans to change that – by building a A$500 million ($480 million) theme park that will include a full-size replica of Beijing’s Forbidden City and a nine-storey temple housing a giant Buddha.