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Soaring Chinese tourism

2018-02-07 23:59     军事     来自:环球时报GlobalTimes

Over Christmas holiday I was lucky enough to travel to Finland to experience a special visit with Santa Claus and to go on a tour to see the Northern Lights.

On my last few trips, I noticed that there is an increasing number of Chinese tourists. I really love going to a new country and finding myself on a tour with Chinese people because I instantly feel a connection. We can share a moment as I tell them in broken Chinese that I am a teacher in Beijing. There is something about being in a foreign place and seeing someone you can relate to. With tourism down in America, the likelihood of me running into Americans traveling abroad is decreasing.

There are many statistics showing that China is taking over the tourism industry and that more Chinese people are traveling than other nationalities. I have been fortunate while working in China to be able to afford a lifestyle that leaves money for travel. This is something that is not easy in America with the high cost of living. Most of my friends back home in America cannot even afford to go on one vacation a year anymore.

When I returned from my holiday and spoke with one of my dearest Spanish friends working in Beijing, she had a similar story to share. She went on the Trans-Siberian Railway to visit Russia over her holiday. She was met with many Chinese tourists taking the same tour. She said there were only a few Europeans, and all of them spoke about how hard life was at home. This goes to show how lucky we are to be able to work in China.

The idea of the American dream is shifting. Life is hard there as well as in Europe. Going on fancy trips seems to be affordable mostly for Chinese tourists and others working in China. Luxury tourism used to be saved for retired Americans making their once-in-a-lifetime journeys to Europe or on safari to Africa. Now, these tours are once a year vacations mostly affordable to Chinese groups.

It is hard to call home and hear friends say they are struggling and for them to wonder how I afford to travel.

I think the future will continue to see a massive growth in the tourism industry for Chinese clients as other countries' economies struggle. Opportunities are abundant in China, and travel is attainable here.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.