A new tourism industry will be created if China’s government takes action to curb illegal travel by foreigners, as a warning from a leading business group warns that the country could be on the brink of a “tourism catastrophe”.
Key points:The Chinese government has proposed relaxing restrictions on the use of mobile phones, allowing foreigners to travel overseas in small groupsA study by a UK-based research organisation has found the country faces a huge potential crisis if this is to happenThe Business Council of Australia says the government must act urgently to protect the future of tourism in ChinaA report from the Business Council has warned that a ban on using mobile phones while travelling overseas could be a “catastrophe” for tourism in the country, and warned that it could result in “a tourism catastrophe”.
The report, released on Tuesday, said that while Chinese travellers are “on the verge of a tourism catastrophe”, they have “some of the most powerful incentives in the world”.
“They have the largest consumer base of any country on Earth, the largest number of mobile phone users in the Asia Pacific region, and they have an enormous amount of disposable income,” Professor Richard Garton, who conducted the study for the council, said.
“China is already the most populous country in the entire world, and that means there are lots of opportunities for people to get to the top destinations.”
There are plenty of options for people who want to get around the world, there are plenty for them to do business, and there are even plenty of opportunities to travel abroad.
“It is absolutely a matter of urgency for the Chinese government to make sure that we are protected from a tourism disaster that is happening right now.”
China has proposed loosening restrictions on foreign visitors’ use of phones while on the premises of state-run companies.
While many foreign tourists are happy to use their smartphones while on holiday in China, many foreigners do not, as their travel experience is restricted.
In July, China introduced a new rule that would allow foreigners to use phones while out of the country and allowing them to travel to certain locations in China.
But this would only apply to foreign visitors, who are currently restricted from using their phones outside their own country.
“The government has to ensure that the Chinese people’s use of smartphones is not limited,” Professor Garton said.
The new rules are also set to allow tourists to travel across the border into Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The report warned that foreign tourists in China are “at the heart of the economy of the Chinese Communist Party”.
“Foreigners are responsible for the economic growth of China,” Professor Cai, from the University of Sydney, said, adding that they were also “very important” to the Chinese Government.
Professor Garton’s report said that the rules would lead to a “collapse” of Chinese tourism in 2018.
“Chinese tourists are at the heart (of) the economy (of the Chinese Party), and they play an extremely important role in making China prosper,” Professor Pao, from King’s College London, said in a statement.
“If the government relaxes these rules, it will mean a massive economic decline.”
Professor Gao said the government should not allow Chinese tourists to be allowed to travel around the globe.
“In the short term, it is the best possible solution to stop a huge number of foreigners leaving China, but the Chinese economy will be in trouble in the long term,” he said.
Foreigners will be allowed back into China once they prove they have been issued a tourist visa and are willing to travel, Professor Gao added.
Tourism has been a major industry in China for many years.
While China is home to about 20 million tourists, it has the second largest tourism industry after the United States, and it has been growing rapidly.
China’s population has grown by 30 per cent in the past five years.