Amidst food scandals, reports of ethnic arrest and the general growth in the fear of Chinese masses in Europe and the Americas, Chinese tourism is seen as the main hope in improving the situation.
As China’s importance grows on a massive scale in the tourism industry, a greater reliance has been placed on outbound Chinese tourists to restore the country’s reputation after some testing times. Following numerous product and food safety scandals in recent years, the reputation of Chinese people has taken a massive battering. Ethnic tensions among some of the Chinese minorities have only worsened the situation.
A record 56 million Chinese people went abroad last year, meaning that 8.3 million more tourists visited foreign countries compared to 2009. The figure makes the Chinese extremely important for tourism sectors all over the developed world. Chinese tourists even overtook Japanese tourists in visits to Taiwan last year. However, they are important not only for helping foreign tourism industries to fulfill their targets, yet also for maintaining and repairing the reputation of their homeland.
Seeing is believing and, as long as people see Chinese tourists behaving well abroad, then images of food scandals and ethnic unrests should move from page 2 to page 10. The Chinese government has sent out a clear message to its people to behave in a manner, which would show their country in a good light. As Chinese outbound tourism is still very much in its teething period, appropriate behavior is of utmost importance.