For China’s neighbors, incoming Chinese tourists can serve as a valuable cash injection into the local economy, but it often comes with strings attached, writes Daniel Meesak for Jing Daily.
A massive and growing Chinese tourism market on the doorstep sounds like an ideal scenario for many distant destinations, but poses a substantial risk as well. Because of its size, China can easily come to represent over 50% of all tourist arrivals in neighboring countries, yet because of its opaque decision making processes and track record of using tourism as a foreign policy tool, China’s neighbors are increasingly cautious of letting China dominate their tourism industries.
For China’s developing neighbors, tourism services represent a much larger share of exports than in more developed countries, and Chinese moves to disrupt tourism flows to these countries can cause everything from economic turmoil to political dissent.
At the moment, however, it seems like China’s more developed neighbors in East Asia are the first in the region to actively try to diversify their tourism industries instead of letting Chinese tourists dominate this sector of the economy.