‘Off the beaten path’ is no longer good enough. Modern-day travelers are searching for authentic experiences and connections that give them a better understanding of the world. And when it comes to the business of travel, everyone wants a part of it.

As China overtakes the U.S. as the world’s number one business travel market, CNN’s Richard Quest journeys to two of the country’s ancient capitals, Beijing and Xi’an, in search of the true meaning of authenticity.

This month, CNN Business Traveller explores why Hainan Airlines, China’s largest privately-owned carrier, as well as United Airlines, see a strategic advantage expanding nonstop service to destinations such as Xi’an, Chengdu, Changsha, and Hangzhou.

As millennial travelers look for a more authentic and localized experience at an affordable price, CNN also takes a look at both big hotel chains and travel companies who are building their businesses on visitor experiences and the challenges they are facing. 

If there is one iconic experience in Xi’an, it’s the Terra Cotta Warriors, a collection of thousands of clay soldiers dating back some two-thousand years. Richard Quest gets an exclusive access to one of the excavation pits with an archaeologist who has been working at the site for decades.

Quest concludes his trip in China’s modern-day capital city of Beijing, enjoying an authentic Chinese meal with Fuchsia Dunlop, the first foreign chef to graduate from the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. She has built her business and reputation on bridging the gap between Chinese cuisine and Western palates and preconceived notions. They bypass the Peking duck and go beyond the stereotypes in search of something more memorable. 

Airtimes (Hong Kong/ Beijing/ Taipei/ Singapore/ Kuala Lumpur/ Manila):
Thursday June 9 at 1630 HKT
Friday June 10 at 1130 HKT
Saturday June 11 at 1230 and 2330 HKT
Saturday July 9 at 1930 HKT
Sunday July 10 at 1230 HKT

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