The Tipping Point

Hot or Not – Chinese Outbound Tourism Destinations 2020

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Twenty years ago Malcolm Gladwell published „The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference“. The text is still available.

Gladwell analyzed a phenomenon that has become more and more important with the advent of online media. Paul Revere, whose „midnight ride“ from Boston to Lexington started the successful resistance of the Americans against the British colonial power on April 18, 1775, still needed to jump on a horse and bang on doors in the middle of the night to alert the local militias about the imminent start of the British military campaign. Gladwell uses Revere as an example of word-of-mouth propaganda, which resulted in a tipping point for the fight for the establishment of the United States.

Nowadays what all is needed is a blog entry or the public association by a KOL, a key opinion leader who might be a celebrity, an expert, or a political leader. Europeans do not care much about where their presidents or prime ministers go on holidays, for Chinese travelers however, it is quite different. In the online CTT China Tourism Training, which COTRI has just published in cooperation with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Hotel and Tourism Management, the example of Xi Jinping’s visit to a traditional pub in Buckinghamshire illustrates the Tipping Point concept.

Enjoying a pint of Greene King ale and a portion of Fish and Chips together with then Prime Minister Cameron in front of Chinese media resulted in a flood of Chinese visitors hankering for exactly the same experience. The craze for heated toilet seats, which let millions of Chinese shoppers to Tokyo a few years ago, is another famous example of the power of the Tipping Point.

So which destinations will be the new „hot“ places for Chinese outbound tourists in 2020, is still an open question. Will India succeed to turn the interest for Yoga and Bollywood into a new wave of Chinese visitors, or will Albania be able to become the new „hot“ European destination based on the visa-free policy introduced last month?

Keep tuned, COTRI Weekly will keep its readers up-to-date on the Tipping Points of 2020.

Best wishes for the last weeks of the Year of the Earth Pig from Prof. Arlt and the COTRI Weekly team!