China Tourism

Last Update: 2008-5-12; By Melinda

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Tourists in Forbidden City, Beijing
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China is rich in tourism resources. The diverse landscapes, lakes, mountains, waterfalls, plains, brilliant history and culture, ancient tradition are altimate lure to travelers. Every year a large number of tourists at home and abroad are attracted to the numerous sights of the country.

According to the forecasting of WTTC, Chinese tourism industry is supposed annually rising 10.4% in the coming decade.  It is estimated by the World Tourism Organization that China will be the world’s largest tourist destination and the fourth largest country in tourists output by 2020.

There is strong competition in the travel and tourism business in China.  There are many reputable and ethical agencies, and there's the others.  It's worth remembering that if an operator is offering a trip which seems amazingly cheap, then the difference will be collected some other way.  Sometimes guides and drivers will pay the agency for the right to guide the visitor, ("buying" travelers), and they will then find ways to recover this from the visitors.  Sometimes the agency will use non-accredited suppliers, for example for river boats, rather than those which meet the government standard.

A good agency does not collect the 'per head' fee, and pay their guides a fixed monthly salary, which recognizes the fact that they are English graduates as well as expert guides.  These days the guides expect a good salary as more and more foreign businesses open in China, offering an attractive alternative, and a guide with a good standard of English does not have to 'buy' customers from an Agency.

A good agency believes in delivering value for money, reliable quality, and clarity about what people will get for their money.  It will charge a reasonable price, and pay its own staff and suppliers at a reasonable rate.

This, of course, raises the thorny issue of tipping.  China has not previously had a "tipping culture" however the practice of tipping guides and drivers has become common practice.

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