china David Morgan 16611001

Introduction

Culture, celebrations and the food/lifestyle which are three very distinctive characteristics about China and “one of the largest international boundaries in the world” (Euro Monitor, 2016a) and also having an impressive population of “1.4 billion” (Euro Monitor, 2016a) in 2015. The Chinese culture including Chinese traditions and the varied artistic cultures. The celebrations which the destination celebrate such as Chinese New Year and the Lantern festival are distinctive characteristics for the image travellers view the destination. Also the food and lifestyle of the destination which is globally recognised. In Britain there are “156,351 Chinese restaurants” (Fedrest, 2008) which shows how Chinese food is available in different countries.

The international tourist arrivals table compares different destinations and the tourist arrivals. In table 1 the information shows how China is ranked 4th place globally. This is a strong position for China because this would suggest that the destination is well known to different countries.

Table 1: International Tourist Arrivals (UNWTO, 2015.6)

The term mobility “highly dependent upon passports, visas, and residence and labour qualifications” (Urry, 2007, 10). In relation to tourism and events mobility could be the definition of movement to and from destinations and how tourists move. Activities such as mail and food could also be defined as a mobility. This website will be undertaking research about China in relation to the events/tourism industry.

Aim of Website

• Research China and the tourism the destination attracts to access its potential as a viable destination for a festival;

• Explore what encourages tourists to visit and explore China;

• Conduct research into China’s resources and transport.

Travel flows

The table (table 2) provided by Euro monitor shows the different travel flows inbound and outbound to China. The table also compares the Domestic trips between 2010 and 2015. Domestic travel is when residents in China travel in the same country without leaving the destination. The table shows how the inbound tourist arrivals has shown increase and decreases between the 5 year time scales. In 2010 the total of inbound arrivals was “55,664.000”. The table then shows increases between 2011, 2012 however the decrease happened in 2013. The reason for the decrease for inbound arrivals could be because of “fluctuation of the exchange rate or the cost for travel to china as it rises” (Travel China Guide, 2016). However the decline of inbound arrivals didn’t last a long period of time because after the two years of the tourist decline the inbound arrivals statistic rose in 2015.

Outbound departures has shown a common rise in the five year period. In 2010 the figure for outbound departures was “34,989.300” however compared to 2015 the figures had risen by 40,654.100 which is a huge increase of outbound departures. The figure for 2015 was “75,643.400” outbound departures. It could be questionable for why the outbound departures increased at a quicker rate than the inbound arrivals and possibly could be a factor that potentially could negatively impact of an event being held in China.

Table 2: Travel Flows Inbound and Outbound (Euromonitor, 2016b)

Domestic travel trends

“A phenomenal growth in domestic tourism has occurred because of the increasing incomes of Chinese people” (Alan, A et al, 1995.55) therefore being beneficial on potential events in the destination. With the growth of domestic tourism the events could attract businesses to assist with events and use the domestic tourism as an advantage. Table 3 was released by Euro monitor in 2016 giving statistics for domestic travel trends in China. The table shows an increase of domestic travel trends in five years. The increase that is enormous is the domestic travel trends for Leisure. Between 2010 and 2015 the figure increased by 1,661,194.700. An event could be successful due to the high rise of domestic travel trends because the increase area is Leisure orientated meaning Chinese residents are traveling for their own accord.

Table 3: Domestic Travel Trends (Euromonitor, 2016b)
Table 4: Predictions Domestic Travel Trends (Euromonitor, 2016b)

Table 4 shows the predictions of domestic travel trends between 2015 and 2020. It is clear that Leisure figures could increase further. Events could be seen as a Leisure activity but also the business contribution towards events could contribute towards the predicted rise of business domestic travel. It is clear to see that China has a strong developed domestic tourism due to the predictions and how China are predicting high figures to develop the area of tourism, it seems domestic tourism is a strong contribution in China according to the statistics provided.

Transport

Inbound and outbound transport has shown growth in the destination. Modes of transport such as air travel or international cruise ships have been distinguishing modes of transport into the destination therefore accommodating tourists travelling from outside of the country. “China’s airlines have witnessed dramatic improvements year upon year.” (China Highlights, 2016a)

Flights to China (Skyscanner, 2016)

The list provided by Sky Scanner shows the amount of airlines that serve China. This is a huge amount of airlines that serve China meaning that transport accommodates the huge levels of tourists that visit the destination and that tourists have a wide variety of options when choosing to travel to the destination.

The Transport links in the destination includes;

- China Train travel (Bullet Train Travel);

- Domestic Flights;

- Long distance travel by Bus;

- Tourist cruises;

- Taxi services;

- Private transport and touring;

(China Highlights, 2016a)

Transport is a huge factor within the destination with a variety of options for tourists to travel around China. The Beijing to Xi’an Transportation link is a flight between the two cities which takes about 2 hours. This transport link is an example of how transport in China is easy accessible and how destinations connect together when transporting tourists.

Resources, attractions and events

The key natural attractions for tourists to visit when going to China are;

China Danxia – Which is a “inscribed site which comprises of six areas found in the sub-tropical zone of south-west China.” (UNESCO, 2015a) Tourists would visit this attraction due to how this natural attraction is considered a rare and threatened attraction meaning that it’s a very special natural resource available to tourists who visit the destination.

China Danxia (UNESCO, 2008b)

South China Karst- Which is “one of the world’s most spectacular examples of humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes” (UNESCO, 2015c) Tourists would visit this attraction for the natural beauty including the various of stone forests, natural bridges as well as gorges and large cave systems.

South China Karst, (UNESCO, 2007)

The key cultural attractions for tourists to visit when going to China are;

Great Wall of China- Which is “one of the greatest wonders of the world, and was listed as a World heritage by UNESCO in 1987.” (Travel China Guide, 2015) The great wall is 13,170.69 miles long and tourists visit this cultural attraction due to the history behind the wall.

Great Wall of China (Thinglink, 2016)

Lushan National Park- This cultural attraction is “one of the spiritual centres of Chinese Civilization, Buddhist and Taoist temples” (UNESCO, 1996) this landmark attracts tourists because of how the Chinese culture is found within the attraction. Mount Lushan can be found in Jiujiang City and the total area of this cultural attraction is 30,200 hectrasand.

Lushan National Park (UNESCO, 2013)

In relation to events which are held and celebrated in China, Chinese New Year is a very popular event which is held annually globally. In fact, the celebration resulted in “120 million people heading abroad” (Wordpress, 2016) for the celebration. Also “between January 21st and March 3rd, nearly 3 billion trips will be made” (Wordpress, 2016) according to a blogger explaining some information about the celebration.

Another popular Chinese event is The Chinese Lantern festival which is an event held on the 15th day of the first lunar calendar month. This event dates back 2000 years and it involves sky lanterns being launched. In 2015 the event attracted “8 million tourists” (Lui, 2015) according to statistics provided by the government. This shows how the event has such a high tourist interest therefore bringing more tourists to the destination.

2008 Beijing Olympics

An event that will be used as a case study in relation to tourism/events in China is the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “The first Olympic games of the modern era opened in Athens on 6th April 1896” (Olympics, 2016). Since the release of the Olympics 120 years ago, Beijing was lucky enough to host the 2008 Olympics which was a massive boost towards the local economy.

Some statistics from this event include;

- 204 Countries visiting;

- 10,942 athletes (4,637 women and 6,305 men);

- 100,000 volunteers;

- 24,562 accredited media representing 159 countries.

(Olympics ,2016b)

The statistics alone gives the exact impression of the huge scale of the Olympic Games and how popular the event is. On a tourism and local economy scale and the destination attracted “6.52 million tourist arrivals which includes 382,000 from abroad, during the Olympic Games.” (China View, 2008) Also on a local business scale the Olympics were also a huge positive because “star-level hotels accepted around 80,000 guests each day” (China View, 2008) which could be a huge popularity boost for local businesses and also a huge positive for the local economy.

Before the Olympics began in 2008 a report was released stating that “China invested nearly $40 billion in infrastructure alone from 2002 to 2006.” (China Business Review, 2008) The total income from the Olympics which was reported was “20.5 billion yuan” (China Daily, 2009)

Domestic tourism also played an important role towards to Olympics because in a report it was estimated that the Olympics “will reach 1.83 billion people” (Beijing Tourism, 2008) which is a statistic on a Domestic tourism level. Table 5 are statistics which were released in relation to the Olympics about a breakdown of costs towards the event. The level of services required for the Olympics was a high amount but due to the scale of the Olympic Games the services were needed to keep all tourists inbound and domestic safe and to make sure that any negative effects could affect the event, such as terrorism or conflict.

Table 5: Beijing 2008 Cost Breakdown (Hasmi et al, 2008.28)

SWOT Analysis for China Tourism/Events

Strengths

- The tourist levels inbound and outbound of the destination has helped the economy meaning that Tourism in China is 2nd in the worldwide economy table. (More information visit Statisticstimes.com)

- Transport systems are very strong in China, domestic travel as well as inbound/outbound travel is providing and ease for all to use. Systems such as Beijing to Xi’an Airlines are great assets to the Chinese Transport systems.

Weaknesses

- Accommodation prices are very high. The Chinese economy is a high level therefore resulting in accommodation and tourism services being high which could deter tourists visiting China.

- Visa restrictions are also a weakness for China. Restrictions such as Passport restrictions/validity and registering with Chinese authorities could be too much tourists therefore tourists not finding an appeal to visit destination.

Opportunities

- Expanding tourism to areas that are less noticed could be an opportunity to boost tourism. Destinations such as Xiamen as shown on Table 6. By developing destinations such as Xiamen this could boost the economy for China further as well as more attraction to different areas/lifestyles in the destination.

Table 6: China Town Populations (New Geography, 2015)

Threats

- Rise of terrorism is no secret in today’s world, the amount of activity taking place for no real acceptable reasons could be a potential threat to China’s tourism, If a terrorist attack takes place in China this could jeopardise the tourism because the appeal is lowered as tourists will not feel the need to visit destinations that has been negatively impacted. Big events could be an effect of terrorism

- Air pollution is a threat as it is continues to increase. The more airlines travelling to China will add to pollution therefore harming the environment and destinations looking less attractive. Above mentions how there are such high levels of airlines from the UK to China.

Key recommendations

If planning an event for China it is recommended that the event is held in the right direction. Whether the event aims to develop Chinese towns/cities further such as Xiamen or hosting an event in a developed area such as Beijing. It is also a recommendation that the destination has strong transport links otherwise how will tourists find a way to the event (domestic or international).

Conclusion

China is a very strong developed destination meaning that an event being held in the country could be very effective and successful. Large events have been held in China in the past which also could be beneficial for an event being held because the destination is known from the high tourist levels the Olympics attracted. The destination has varied transport links, large economy and several factors that entice tourist appeal to the destination hence why the country is in the position it is in. To host an event in this destination the findings would suggest that the event could have several factors that positively affect the success of any event. With China’s high reputation and economy the destination could be ideal for big events and China is a known destination for a high tourism level.

References

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Created with images by Thomas Depenbusch - "Wuxi, Jiangsu, China"

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