Editorial: 15,000 LinkedIn followers for COTRI, 22,000 readers for post on China’ opening borders

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Dear readers,

during our short break in the publication of COTRI Weekly the number of connections on LinkedIn for COTRI and the Meaningful Tourism Center passed the 15,000 mark. At the same time more than 22,000 LinkedIn users read a post about Li Keqiang’s remarks in favour of the re-opening of the Chinese borders, with more than 20 shares as well. We are proud of that and will produce in the coming weeks an edition of COTRI Weekly with original articles completely written for the publication.

Already today we are also proud to announce that COTRI Weekly will get a sister publication in the same style, called MEANINGFUL TOURISM CENTER Weekly, covering the wide and important field of a better tourism future based on Hedonic Sustainability. The first edition is planned for the end of this month August 2022. 

For China, the question “When are the Chinese visitors coming back?” is still on everybody’s mind in the industry. For journalists from the Financial Times and from several Asian publications, as well as during the participation of your humble editor at the AGB ASEAN 2022 Summit in Manila, this was constantly asked, especially as in the second quarter of the year even Macau stopped being a destination to visit without the need for a quarantine time when returning to the Mainland. In the first quarter of 2022 out of the 1.9 million total border crossings from China no less than 1.7 million ended in Macau. The closure of the border and the casinos was of course bad news for the gaming industry, with July seeing a 95% drop in casino revenues compared to the same month in the previous year. 

However, since August 2nd, Macau’s border to Zhuhai is open again and for the month, the number of international flights in and out of China was announced to double compared to the previous month. Chinese media discussed shorter quarantine times and even the Global Times mentioned for the first time in an article that only one in 2,000 persons infected with CoViD-19 will get seriously sick. This is a big step away from the scaring policies and one step in the direction of a new way to treat the virus.

At the time of writing this it seems that even the stay of Speaker Pelosi in Taiwan has not triggered a catastrophic reaction from the Mainland government. Ultra-nationalistic voices on Social Media, asking for the aircraft carrying Mrs. Pelosi to be shot down and expressing disappointment were censored. ‘The government only chants slogans loudly while greatly disappointing the public with its actual actions,’ was a typical post on Sina Weibo, which was quickly deleted, with other “Wolf Warrior” voices muted as well. The ban on the import of pineapple cake and other such items will not seriously affect the GDP growth figures of the Taiwanese economy.

Therefore, let’s remain optimistic that based on a positive outcome for Xi Jinping during the current top-level horse-trading in Beidaihe the necessary support of the Chinese economy, which is not growing at all anymore, will lead to a reopening of China’s borders sometime after the XX. Party Congress.

As always, all best wishes from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the whole COTRI WEEKLY team!