World urged to be 'China-ready' for travelers

Updated: 2015-09-28 07:46

By Xinhua In Tianjin(China Daily)

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Western merchants need to stop treating Chinese as "walking wallets or handbags" and prepare to receive more Chinese travelers, according to tourism professionals at a recent expo in Tianjin.

"A Chinese saying goes that harmony creates wealth. Goodwill, appreciation of different cultures and harmony will translate into wealth on different levels," says Garry Crockett, global executive chairman of China Ready & Accredited.

Statistics show Chinese made 100 million trips overseas in 2014. China has become the third-ranking country as a source of outbound visitors.

More Chinese will travel overseas, and they will not only buy foreign brand products, but also demand better service and respect for their culture, says Crockett, who spent 30 years as director of the Accommodation Association of Australia.

Crockett calls on both Western merchants and Chinese travelers to respect each others' culture.

"For example, many Chinese are thought to be too noisy. Westerners need to understand that speaking loud is the Chinese cultural norm, not a sign of aggression or rudeness, but a sign of warmth, energy and passion," he says.

Chinese travelers also need to understand the culture of the country they are visiting, in order to get a better travel experience, he says.

According to a report by the World Tourism Cities Federation, Chinese travelers spent $165 billion on overseas trips, making up 11 percent of the total revenue generated from international tourism in 2014. The number of overseas visitors will continue to grow, it says.

Chinese travelers are important in the global shopping market, says Gregory Gelhaus, Asian-Pacific CEO of Global Blue Service Company, a Swiss tax consultancy.

In the second quarter this year, about 39 percent of Global Blue's customers were Chinese, up 76 percent from last year, he says.

"Western companies cannot benefit without putting something back. They need to invest in training and become China-ready," says Crockett

(China Daily 09/28/2015 page22)