China's potential for holding a large scale event By Dylan johnstone


China accounts for over a fifth of the world’s population and the landmass of china is equivalent to that of the USA. China is also home to a wide range of climate changes, ranging from extreme winters located in the northern Manchurian, to the tropical warm weather which can be found on the Island of Hainan in the south of China. The country is home to some of the largest mountains as well as one of the most inhospitable rivers called the Plateau (Boniface and Cooper, 2009, 499). As well as this China is also full of culture and heritage, with the county being host to a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, being famous for its Chinese New Year festivals which are held all around the country. China is also one of the rising countries in terms of social and economic value too. The term Mobilities is a concept which involves the movement of people, objects, capital and information from around the world within everyday life (Hannam, Sheller & Urry, 2006: 1).


Using this idea of space and mobilities I will be carrying out an in-depth analysis into China to see how viable it is at potentially holding a new large scale event to attract visitors to the country.

Visitor flows to and within the country:

During 2016 the trend in outbound tourism had slowed down. The number of visits made by outbound tourists had reached 59.03 million during the start of 2016, a 4.3 increase over the figure from 2015 taken at the same point in the year. Inbound tourism had also made a steady growth throughout 2016, China has seen a total of 67.87 million overseas visitors, this has been a 3.8% increase from the year before. Overnight visitor numbers has increased by 28.87 million a 4.3% increase from last year. The total income from inbound tourists this year has been 57 Billion USD, this has been a 5.3% increase from last year. (TravelChinaguide, 2016)

Figure 1: table of visitor numbers to chine, 2016

Domestic travel trends

The use of domestic tourism has increased rapidly in China since the standards of living has increased for the people who live there. Also due to the relaxation of government laws in China and people now have leisure time they are able to go out and travel more around the country at weekends due to the introduction of the 5-day working week policy. The people living in China now also enjoy 3 one week holidays a year, which includes; Chinese New Year, Labor Day and National day. Not only does this allow domestic tourists to travel to visit family and friends but it also allows people to enjoy some of the national and cultural events that China has to offer, such as the Chinese New Year. Not only do the people living in china look forward to having much more free time to be able to travel but they can enjoy using this free time to travel around the country playing sports, in particular golf. Golf is an important leisure activity which is played by many in China. However other western pastimes have become vulnerable to dying out due to the changes in trends in society (Boniface and Cooper, 2009, 500).


China is in the east of Asia and covers a vast amount land which can be travelled using several different methods. For example, the most popular methods of travelling around China are; air, train, bus and car. (Lonely planet)


China’s air network is growing at a rapid rate. It is expected that the aivil aviation fleet will triple in sizer over the next 20 years. Up to around 70 airports have been planned for construction over recent years and up to 100 more are planned to be expanded or upgraded.


China has an extensive bus network that offers short and long haul journey’s. Especially to places that can’t be reached by other forms of transport. There are a number of different buses that can be found in China too; from more modern, cleaner buses running from city to city also feature hostess service which provide food and drinks for travelers. However more quitter routes have less nicer and more shuttle type buses which aren’t very pleasant and can become over crowded easily.

China also has a number of another transport links; however these are become more and more limited. For example, the ferry services. These are becoming more limited due to the rise of high speed rail links and the express ways that have been built throughout China.

Destination resources:

China has a range of natural, cultural and heritage attractions which attract large numbers of visitors every year.

The Xujiashan National Forest Park (Google, 2016) Located in Chengguan, Lanzhou, Gansu, China is the largest forest park which is located just 12 miles away from the city of Beijing. The park is khome to a large collection of plants and animals, in total there are 250 different types of plants and over 50 different types of birds, amphibians and reptiles (, 2016).

The Yangtze, the world’s third larger river (Boniface and Cooper, 2009) stretching 6,300 km from Shanghai right the way through to the heart of China. Many visitors who take tours along the river also like to combine it with a tour of the Great wall of China. There are several cruise line companies that offer tailored holiday and tours of the river for tourists who wish to visit the “Yellow river” as it is commonly referred to.

Huangshan, mountain (Google, 2016) is regarded as one of the most ‘loveliest’ mountains in China. It has also been widely acclaimed in Chinese art and literature throughout history. For example, the Shinshu ‘mountain and water color’ in the mid-16th century. Today the site still attracts large numbers of tourists, visitor’s pilgrimage’s, poets and photographers who are still fascinated by its beauty (UNESCO, 2016).

Chinese New Year (China highlights, 2016) is an annual festival that is held to welcome in the Chinese New Year. This long celebration takes place in the middle of January and involves large celebrations complete with fireworks food, music and religious ceremonies. It is also a time for friends and family to come together but it is also big in a tourism perspective as many people will travel to China to participate in the celebrations.

The 798-art district is located north of central Beijing, it has become the focal point for bringing together contemporary art, architecture and culture. It has soon quickly evolved into a cultural concept which has gained attention not only from industry experts but it has also gained many visitors since beginning in 2002. To date the total number of visitors to the 798-art district has reached as high as 75 million visitors. It has managed to gain these visitors through hosting world class international and national art exhibitions in the largest most influential art district in China.

Chinese tea ceremonies (Fitzsimmons, 2008), is an important and special in Chinese culture. The ceremonies are all about the tastes and smells of the different teas on offer.

Chinese New Year (China highlights, 2016) is an annual festival that is held to welcome in the Chinese New Year. This long celebration takes place in the middle of January and involves large celebrations complete with fireworks food, music and religious ceremonies. It is also a time for friends and family to come together but it is also big in a tourism perspective as many people will travel to China to participate in the celebrations.

lanterns at CHINESE NEW YEAR

The dragon boat festival is a traditional holiday which takes place on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. It is usually celebrated by following traditional customs such as dragon boat racing and eating Chinese delicacies.

The Tibet shotgun festival is one of the most popular traditional festivals which are held. During the festivals there celebrations held in the streets (China highlights, 2016)

Case study:

The Beijing Olympics which were held in 2008 was a global sporting event that brought a lot of tourism into the country as people from all over the world wanted to come and watch the popular games. During the Olympics China was host to 6.5 million tourists during the 14-day spectacular. 382,000 of which were from abroad. During the games China made total of 162 million yuan in profit across all sectors within the tourism industry and more. Whilst tourists were in China, many visited some of the countries popular attractions such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. These attractions received more than 230,000 visitors during the month of August. (China view, 2008)

SWOT analysis


The strengths on tourism in China is that it has good transport links to and from the country as well as good links for tourists travelling around the country (lonely planet 2016).

For example, it has good air links to all countries as well as good road networks for cars and buses. With the introduction to express ways and the new high speed rail systems it also means that people can get across the country faster.

China also has a greater choice of popular attractions (Boniface and Cooper, 2009). For example; the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the mining tombs and many more.


There are also several weaknesses to tourism on China. For example, the country is very prone to natural disasters such as Earthquakes, flooding and Typhoons (Gov.UK).

As China is in an active seismic zone, China is prone to be hit by very severe Earthquakes. For example, in 2015, two earthquakes hit parts of the country just months after each other. One was a magnitude of 6.4 and the other was a magnitude of 5.3.

Flooding is also another common natural disaster to hit the country, especially during wet season which occurs from May to November. This mainly affects the southern and eastern coastal parts of the country. In June 2015, severe flooding and storms affected many parts of the country which lead to a high number of fatalities and injuries.

As well as natural disasters, another factor that can affect tourism, especially domestic tourism in the country is that people living in China can be restricted to travel due to the low wages they receive if they are the average worker (Boniface and Cooper). As the average worker, will receive a low wage this means that they won’t be able to afford to go travelling without having to save up for it as well as restrict them in terms of places that they want to travel to.


The county can hold special events at some of the tourist attractions all of which can link towards the culture and heritage of the country as well as showcase what china is about.


A threat to tourism in china is that tourism might come to a standstill when a natural disaster happens. F or example if a severe Earthquake was to strike then flight to and from the country would stop meaning people couldn’t travel in and out of the country. Domestic travel such as bus services would also stop too.

If an act of terrorism was to happen then people would be weary of travelling to China.

Recommendations for the country:

From the research, I have carried out I think that China would be the ideal location for holding events due to its location. It has some prime locations for events to be held against some of the most scenic backdrops as well as having good transportation links to allow visitors to travel to and from the events. I recommend that events ae held just outside major cities to allow visitors to make full use of Chinas transport links.


In conclusion, I think that it is viable for China to hold a large-scale event that will attract many visitors to the country. From the research, I have carried out I have found that visitor numbers are increasing year by year, mid to end of the year. I have also found that visitors enjoy going to annual festivals which are held that also involve big celebrations. In terms of transport I have found that China has good transport links across all transport sectors. I have found that the strengths that China has is that it is a country that is rich with culture and heritage and this is something that people like to be a part of. Having an event centered around these points is something that I think will attract visitors.


China highlights (2016 Special report, Chinese New Year. Available from

Lonely Planet (2016) Essential information on China. Available from

Huibin, X., Marzuki, A., Rofe, M., Rozark, A. A., (2012) International Tourism in China: The Conceptualization of a Development Pattern Model (3) available from

Fitzsimmons, D. (2008) Top 10 cultural attractions. The Guardian, 31st July. Available from

Boniface, B and Cooper, C. (2009) Worldwide Destinations, The Geography of travel and tourism, 5th edition.

Yao. (2015) Beijing 6.5 million tourists during Olympics. Window of China, 26th August. Available from

Created By
dylan johnstone


Created with images by Philip Jägenstedt - "Chinese flag" • andrewmalone - "Airplane" • BhowardE - "bus" • PublicDomainPictures - "asia asian celebration"

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