Published on : Thursday, November 14, 2013
China has developed from a closed and poor country into one of the most important economic forces in the world. Moreover not only turned into the third-most visited international tourism destination in the world, but in 2012 also achieved the status of the biggest international tourism source market, leaving behind Germany and the USA with, according to Chinese official sources, more than 83 million border crossings and more than $100 billion spent on the road.
The Master said: “To learn something and then to put it into practice at the right time: is this not a joy? To have friends coming from afar: is this not a delight?” – These are the first lines in the first chapter of the Analects (Lunyu), the main classic Chinese text attributed to Confucius. Written more than 2,000 years ago, these two rhetorical questions have taken on a new relevance for the global tourism industry: The growing number of Chinese outbound tourists travelling all over the world and the money they spend are indeed a delight for many destinations and tourism service providers, but the necessary learning about their specific expectations and behaviour and even more the need to put this learning into practice at the right time, as the sage reminds us, has not always been so joyful for many stakeholders involved.
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