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Caribbean: The Chinese are still coming

TTC Service.- “Walking ten thousand miles of the world is better than reading ten thousand scrolls”. This ancient Chinese proverb is also a good start for the Caribbean. Not only a start.

The Chinese tourists are coming to the Americas for a few years now. In 2013 everyone wants to see get Chinese tourism. A record 1 billion tourists crossed international borders in 2012, and Chinese travelers are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the world tourism.

According to official figures, in United States the number of arriving Chinese tourists increased by 30 percent in 2012, due to the government’s expedited visa process.
In Canada inbound tourism numbers were relatively flat in 2012 with fewer visitors coming from Europe and the US, but the exception was an increase in incoming tourists from Asia, especially mainland China. Chinese tourists made 115,200 trips to Canada in the first five months of  2012, a 22.9 percent year-over-year increase.

Costa Rica’ second largest trade partner is China, but has yet to tap into its lucrative outbound tourism market. The Central American country is looking to take advantage of its diplomatic bond established with China in 2007 by positioning itself as the entrance to Latin America.

Costa Rica is working to ease visa regulations for businesses, encourage tourism-related businesses to use Chinese languages, and open direct flights between the two countries.

Peru received fewer incoming Chinese tourists than its South American neighbors in recent years, but is looking to change that by easing visa procedures for Chinese visitors, promoting health tourism, and participating in international travel shows.

The Chinese tourist: A very good guest

The Chinese tourist is the biggest spender. They have more disposable income and want to splurge”. “The average Chinese tourist has a spend of about $6,500 each mostly because travelers enjoy shopping in foreign locals”, Dr Zhihang Chi, Vice President and General Manage of North America for Air China, has announced at the Routes Americas 2012 conference a year ago. “Everything here in the US and Caribbean is a bargain,” he said. “Chinese tourists are already here. And more will be coming.”

According to statistics from the China Business network, up to 100 million Chinese will be traveling abroad by 2015. Less than 10 million travelled abroad in 1999, and 65 million did so in 2011.

This January author Mahlon Meyer in an article appeared in The Huffington Post wrote that “when the talk turns to the economy, to jobs back home, to life back home on Jamaica, whence they must return after their seven-year work permit expires here, they talk in hushed tones, grimacing and wary.They talk, again, of one thing: this time it is the Chinese.

“The Chinese own everything in Jamaica. Shopping’ malls, supermarkets, everything’. They are putting’ up stores everywhere. And they are taking’ out millions, and all the money they get, they send it back to China.”

Over the past five years, the Chinese government has invested billions of dollars in the Caribbean, sending hospitality teams of government officials.

So the Chinese are still coming. They are welcome.

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