As China grows, so does how much the country’s inhabitants travel, especially when it comes to business travel.
While the United States has lead the pack in terms of spending on business travel, Americans are about to be overtaken by the Chinese: by 2016 China will have the world’s largest business travel market, according to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
What does that mean?
For one, China will have to grow its airports. Several airports already have had to double or triple their capacity, and over the next decade China is planning to build about 100 new airports. Because of the growth in travel within China, next year Beijing Capital International Airport is to surpass Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the world’s busiest airport.
Secondly, other surrounding countries like Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong can expect to benefit, as 95 percent of the travel will stay within Asia.
As business travel grows in China, the rest of the world will have to watch and see how the country deals with it. As Joe Bates, vice president of research at GBTA, told the Los Angeles Times, “the real question is can they keep up with the demand.”
And the Chinese better work on managing their business travel stress.
Perhaps the Magic Restroom Cafe is magical in part because it has done something other restaurants have yet to do: require patrons to sit on a toilet while they dine. According to the restaurant’s owner, Yo Yo Li, restroom-themed restaurants have been a hit so far in her native China and Taiwan. Their surprising success influenced her decision to open the Magic Restroom Cafe in City of Industry, California – just east of Los Angeles – on October 11.
The Magic Restroom Cafe‘s tables are outfitted with actual toilets (never used, not hooked up) as seats. But the restroom theme doesn’t stop there. The restaurant’s lobby showcases both urinals and toilets. The cafe’s signature dish is called “golden poop” rice. They also serve dishes with titles like “black poop,” “smells-like-poop,” “bloody number two,” and “constipation.” The food itself arrives to the table in a miniature version of a floor toilet.
So this all begs the question: would you pay to eat bowel-movement-themed food while sitting on a toilet?
Picking your nose in public and stealing life jackets might be acceptable behavior in China, but it’ll be frowned upon elsewhere in the world. That’s the advice being doled out to Chinese tourists heading abroad.
The country’s National Tourism Administration put together a 64-page booklet called The Guidebook For Civilized Tourism to teach its citizens the dos and don’ts of respectable travel.
Earlier this year, China’s Vice Premier lamented the fact that rowdy behavior by Chinese tourists was tarnishing the country’s image abroad. The new etiquette guide hopes to curb some of the unruly behavior, such as travelers who pee in public swimming pools or leave footprints on toilet seats when using public restrooms.Some of the other insight offered in the guidebook includes instructions for travelers to avoid picking their teeth with their fingers, to keep the length of their nose hair in check, and to refrain from stealing life jackets from airplanes so that they’ll be available to other travelers in the event of an emergency.
However, while some of the tips reflect common sense and general courteousness, others are harder to pin down the origins of. An example? Chinese tourists are told that when traveling in Spain, they should always wear earrings while out in public. If they don’t, well apparently, it’s as good as being naked.
Planning a trip to China soon? Watch out for killer hornets. It’s not just the country’s pollution that’s bad for you; Asian giant hornets have been making their way into Shaanxi Province recently, and at the size of your thumb, they’re not only a threat to local honeybees but humans as well. The hornets can actually be fatal, and the stats aren’t encouraging. In city of Ankang, the fatality toll is twice 2002-2005 average; this year alone, there have been 419 injuries and 28 deaths in the area.
Even those outside of China have cause for concern; the Chinese hornet, which is a smaller species of than the one in China, has already appeared in France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.To get a visual of what an attack would be like, read this report via Quartz:
Here’s a chilling scene that Chen Changlin, an Ankang farmer, witnessed one evening a few days ago. As he harvested rice on evening, hornets swarmed a woman and child working nearby. When they reached Chen, they stung him for three minutes straight. Chen made it; the other two died. “The more you run, the more they want to chase you,” said another victim, whose kidneys were ravaged by the venom.
What does stung by one of these hornets feel like? Similar to having a “hot nail” through your leg according to entomologist. And that’s if you live to tell the story.
Dan Levin wrote a compelling piece for the New York Times about Chinese tourists. The reports are in and it’s now official: the Chinese spend the most on tourism in the world. They outspent both Americans and Germans last year when they collectively dished out $102 billion abroad. Americans have long been one of the most wooed and simultaneously resented (as worded in Levin’s title) tourists internationally. While businesses abroad want American money, they haven’t always wanted some of the American etiquette that so stereotypically accompanies that American money. Now that very same problem has shifted over to China and Chinese tourists seem to be the ones who international businesses both love and hate.The ire stems from what is perceived to be a lack of basic cultural etiquette, according to the article. Like the unfortunate reputation of American travelers, Chinese tourists are gaining a reputation of rudeness for behaviors that seem to recur -– like ignoring line formations, spitting or speaking loudly while indoors.
But no matter how much locals disagree, it’s difficult to argue with the kind of money Chinese tourists are spending.
[Thanks, New York Times]