Chinese cities ranked for tourism

By Lia Zhu and Chang Jun in Los Angeles | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-09-21 11:33
Chinese cities ranked for tourism

Recent research finds that China's tourism industry is getting more competitive but its cities are not as convenient as major tourism cities of other countries.

Nine Chinese cities made it into the top 20 of the 104 surveyed cities across the world in terms of tourism competitiveness, according to a report released on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit.

Among the top 10 cities, Shanghai ranked second only to Tokyo; Macao, Xi'an, Hangzhou and Beijing ranked fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively.

The report was based on research conducted by the World Tourism Cities Federation on 104 major tourism cities in Europe, America, the Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

The research also found that the Chinese tourist cities still have work to do to improve convenience for their visitors.

According to the report, only two Chinese cities - Hong Kong and Shanghai - made it into the top 20 rankings of the convenience index; Hong Kong was eighth and Shanghai 17th.

The most convenient city was Amsterdam, followed by Las Vegas and New York.

Communication is the biggest barrier for foreigners traveling in China, said Kurt Grotsch, CEO of Chinese Friendly International, a Seville, Spain-based think tank.

"It's very difficult for foreigners to communicate in China, which makes it difficult to travel in the country," said Grotsch, who attended the two-day summit that concluded on Wednesday.

Chinese cities' "service experience and experience engineering should be improved," said Grotsch, who has made more than 20 visits to China over the past 10 years.

The research also measured the general development of the cities based on resources, economy, infrastructure and other factors. Paris, New York and London took the top spots in this category; Beijing ranked seventh.

As for attractiveness of tourism resources, Paris ranked first, followed by London and New York. Beijing, the only Chinese city to make it into the top 20 of this category, ranked ninth.

The findings of the research are intended to help policy makers and stakeholders take strategic action to improve urban tourism governance and sustainable management.

According to UN Habitat, 70 percent of the world's population will be living in cities by 2025, and these centers will contribute more than $30 trillion annually to the world economy.

However, not enough attention is being paid to the sustainability of tourism cities in light of globalization, said Bai Changhong, dean of the tourism and service college at Nankai University.

Tourism cities now face "emerging challenges" brought by "excessive tourism", such as traffic congestion and pollution.

"The relationship between tourists and residents is very complex," Bai said. "Both friendship and conflict exist at the same time."

A solution might be "mixing function of public facility with high quality", which can be shared by tourists and residents as well, said Bai.

"Slow living and slowing traveling will be a new trend," he added.

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