China as a Tourism Destination for Foreign Students

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China as a Tourism Destination for Foreign Students

Introduction

In the following scenario I would like to examine China as a tourism product and also as a tourist attraction from the point of view of foreign students. In the winter of 2008 I had the privilege to spend 2 weeks in China. My visit was rather unusual, for the fact that my hosts were not locals or either hotels, but rather a group of foreign students then living and studying in Beijing. My main purpose of visit was not educational but rather mainly leisure. Nonetheless because of the reason I was mainly spending my time with and around the foreign student population of Beijing, I was able to see through their eyes. Consequently I gained familiarity of what it means to be a foreign student in the land of China and also of the drives and trends for foreign educational tourism. These experiences caught my attention and drove me toward to a further study of the above mentioned subject. In the following I will state China as a tourist destination, thus I consider it important to provide a clear definition on what it actually means. According to the definition: “Tourist destinations are a mix of tourism products, experiences and other intangible items promoted to consumers” ( Page & Connel 2006, p. 321) There are several ways of analyzing a tourist destination however in my investigation, I would like to use the so called 4 A’s of the tourism product as the basis of my analysis. The 4 A’s can be taken apart into the examination of Attraction, Access, Accommodation and Attitude of the given tourism product (Godsave 2010). I find it crucially important to examine all of those 4 areas in order to find a relevant picture of a destination. From the attraction point of view it is important to inquire what type of draw took part in the attraction of tourists. There can be several types of attracting the move of tourists toward a particular area, for example natural assets, towns or cities culture or even relatives. As to the access part of the analysis, it is important to look at both the, to and inside access of the destination. In this part, it is essential to talk about transportation issues but also bureaucratic issues such as visa requirements on entering the given country. The third of the 4 A’s refer to accommodation in the chosen destination. In inquiring this particular aspect we have to consider the status of the hospitality, catering and shopping facilities. It is understood that there can be an excellent attraction possibility that may drive movements of tourists to a certain destination but if there is no possibility for accommodation or a place to spend money there is not going to be a tourism product to be talked about. Is comes from the simple fact that tourism is driven by mainly the catering and shopping revenues of the certain destination. For that reason the results of this part of analysis are crucial. Lastly I would like to draw attention to the attitude feature of the destination. In this segment I will examine the attitude of the government, traders and also the host population. In my opinion this section is as important as the ones mentioned above if not even more. Tourists or people in general tend to remember more likely to the attitude of the people in any kind of situation rather than to the service provided itself. Consequently from the tourism point of view attitude can not be forsaken.

Analysis of the destination

World’s interest growth in China

In the past twenty years a major focus turned toward China. The whole World was looking at its economic boom and its emergence to become one of the strongest economic powers. In all of the major areas its economy has grown in such ways that even during the current economic crisis in contrast to other parts of the world its growth only slowed down instead of coming close to crushing (Economist 2009). As to China’s tourism, it is the 4th largest in inbound tourism. The number of oversea...
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