Editorial: The slow start to a long decade

The slow start to a long decade

Seminar discusses the changes in China’s outbound tourism in the 2020s

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

At the beginning of the year, papers published by UNWTO, OECD, and many other organisations were looking ahead to yet another year of uninterrupted growth of global tourism. Climate Change and Overtourism would still wait for solutions, but there is no doubt that tourism will outpace the global GDP again. Three months later, the forecasts for the decrease of international and domestic travel start to be gloomier and gloomier.

Your humble editor was interviewed in February by fvw, the leading German-language trade magazine and talked about the starting recovery of the tourism industry in China after the CoViD-19 was brought under control in the country with the exception of Hubei province. When the interview was published on March 16th, Germany had already 2,000 new CoViD-19 cases per day and Italy was close to 4,000 cases per day, bringing massive pressure to the European tourism industry. As a result, the optimistic tale from China got a new rather cynical ring to it.

Another example is a new book published by two German colleagues, Prof. Dr. Rainer Lisowski and Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner, who analysed the city partnerships between German and Chinese cities (with a short chapter on tourism and city partnerships written by yours truly). They wrote in April in the summary that the fact that the WHO has praised China’s behaviour in Wuhan is ignored – by July it had become exactly one of the arguments for the US government to criticise the strong influence of China over the WHO and to cancel their membership in WHO. They also wrote that an APP to trace infected persons will be impossible to establish in Germany as being impossible to reconcile with data protection needs – by July the German government is proud to report 16 million downloads from the German version of such an APP.

Keeping this challenge in mind, COTRI has been quite frantically working to finish the eBook Welcoming the New Chinese Outbound Tourists. Guest relationships with Chinese visitors in the 2020s in time for the book launch seminar on August 4th, but including developments up to the 18th of July. The eleven interviews with experts, which form an important part of the book, for the same reason were only conducted in June and July.

An update is however still possible for them to present, as on August 4th between 10 and 13 h German time (16-19 h Beijing time) most of the interviewed experts will participate in two panels looking at the demand and the supply side of China’s outbound tourism in post-CoViD-19 times. We are glad that our friends from BUZZ.travel community will help with the ZOOM side of the whole event and thankful for the support by our partners PLANET and Shanghai World Travel Fair.

Please make sure to book your place for the Seminar here: https://buzz.travel/china-outbound-tourism-seminar/. Three lucky ones will win a free copy of the eBook in a lucky draw during the event, all other will be lucky enough to get the book for a subscription price of 98,- Euro instead of 128,- Euro until August 5th here: https://payhip.com/b/AaMx.

I hope to see you virtually in the seminar and soon again in the real world.

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