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Discover Chinese culture, Learn about China, Travel

There and Back Again – Tourism in China

Tourism in China is a growing business. In fact most businesses are growing in China, so why is the growth of the tourism industry worth a blog on the mighty InternChina website?
Tourism tells us with a fair amount of precision where China is standing in the world. On one hand it demonstrates how interested people are in the Middle Kingdom. On the other hand it shows the development of Chinese society; how many people can afford to travel within China or even go abroad. So Tourism in China has two hands, of course we have tourists travelling to China but we also have the Chinese becoming more interested in getting to know the world around them.

Chinese People Abroad

I’m sure most of you right now are picturing one of those restless Chinese travel groups rushing through our capitals with iPads taking multiple snaps of the Colosseum one minute and the Eiffel tower the next. Jumping from one sight seeing spot to the next. Chinese tourists have developed a keen interest in experiencing the oh so strange Western culture, in fact in 2015 120 million Chinese left 中国 (zhōngguó, China) to explore the rest of the globe. While most Chinese are still staying in Asia, Europe is becoming a more and more attractive destination with France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany sneaking into the top 10 of most popular countries to travel to, albeit the not so Top 5.

InternChina - Chinese In Rome
InternChina – Chinese In Rome (source)

However, is cultural stimulation all they are after? No, they also want their Louis Vuitton items and other big luxury brand names. The first time I went into a Chinese shopping mall I was overwhelmed by the plethora of high end luxury brands that would put the Champs Elysees in Paris to shame. I was also no less surprised by the staggering price tags. No wonder half of all Chinese luxury expenses are done abroad, accounting for a total of 35% of all global luxury spending. For that reason Chinese tourists are the target group of many a countries tourist agenda. Denmark, for example, has realised that Chinese tourists are a market worth exploring after their tourist numbers quadrupled in just five years. Now the Nordic country has started advertising on Ctrip and WeChat. This is rightly so, as Chinese tourists are highly attractive customers having spent $165 billion in 2014, outspending the USA by $40 billion. They do not bother with the cheap stuff either, heading straight for the big luxury brands. This is because nearly half of all the tourists going on vacation abroad sell something they bought to their peers in China. Many Chinese tourists are known to misbehave though, which is why Xi Jinping has released a statement and pamphlet urging the tourists to adapt to the culture they are experiencing.

InternChina-Chinese Buying Some Haute Couture
InternChina – Chinese Buying Some Haute Couture (source)

These holiday-makers seem to be undeterred in the face of recent economic hardship, with all statistics indicating high growth rates in terms of number of tourists and amount of money spent.

Domestic Tourism in China

Obviously, not everyone can afford to 旅行 (lǚxíng; travel) abroad; 740 million Chinese travelled domestically and who would have guessed – figures are rising. In fact this is all part of a clever ploy by the Chinese government to stimulate growth in the rural, rustic “outback” of China and lift 17% of the country’s poor out of poverty by 2020.

Like the other 55.7 million 外国人 (wàiguórén; foreigners) who travelled to China, I was startled by the sheer amount of Chinese tourists at the Chinese sights. When you come to think of it, it should not be too surprising but it was so crowded moving freely was not possible. Evidently, the government’s scheme seems to be paying off and it is backed by data as well. Indeed by 2020 three million rural tourism businesses will be receiving two billion annual visitors, which would in turn lift two million of China’s rural population out of poverty each year. The domestic tourism sector is estimated to generate one trillion RMB ($150 billion) supporting 50 million rural residents.

InternChina-Great Wall
InternChina – Great Wall (source)

For now, most foreign tourists in China are Asian with only the USA gaining a spot in the top 10. However don’t let this stop you! China is not as much of a world away as you think and there is loads of information out there to make the process of visiting China as smooth as possible.

To begin your own travels in China, apply here!

Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao, Travel

Take a walk along the coast in Qingdao

We have talked about Qingdao(青岛) many times before, so some of you may wonder what does it mean in Chinese. Literally, Qīng (青) means “green” or “lush”, while dǎo (岛) means “island”. Lying across the Shandong Peninsula and facing the Yellow Sea, though Qingdao itself is not an island, it is a beautiful city with offshore islands and a coastline of length around 800 km (500 miles). Taking a walk along the seaside is definitely one of the best choices to spend one or more days in Qingdao. Then what are the places that you may go?
Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center(青岛奥帆中心)

The Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center, also called the Qingdao International Sailing Center, is a sailing marina located on the former site of the Beihai Shipyard by Qingdao’s Fushan Bay (浮山湾). It was constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and has hosted multiple Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competitions. Besides enjoying the sunshine during the day, watching the laser light show at night would also be pleasant.

Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Whole day

InternChina - Views of the Olympic Sailing Center
InternChina – Views of the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center

May 4th Square (五四广场)

As a symbol of Qingdao, the May 4th Square is located between the municipal government building and Fushan Bay and it covers an area of 10 hectares (24.7 acres). Named after the nationwide protest May Fourth Movement that started in Qingdao, the square is best recognized by the spiral sculpture entitled “Wind of May”. During the day, it is filled with visitors on the ground and kites in the air. What’s more, with the moist air and soft sea breeze, it is a wonderful place to go for a walk after dinner.

Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Whole day

InternChina - Views of the May 4th Square
InternChina – Views of the May 4th Square

Zhanqiao Pier (栈桥)

In addition to the May 4th Square, Zhanqiao Pier is another historic symbol of Qingdao and it can be regarded as old as Qingdao City. Currently, Zhanqiao Pier is the first stop for many travellers coming by train as it is just about 0.48 km (0.3 miles) from Qingdao Railway Station. At the south end of the bridge is a Chinese style octagon pavilion, called Huilan Pavilion, standing in contrast to European buildings in the background.

Admission Fee: Free for Zhanqiao Pier; CNY 4 for Huilan Pavilion
Opening Hours: Whole day for Zhanqiao Pier; 7:00 to 19:00 (peak season), and 8:00 to 17:30 (low season) for Huilan Pavilion

InternChina - Views of Zhanqiao Pier and Huilan Pavilion
InternChina – Views of Zhanqiao Pier and Huilan Pavilion

No. 1 Bathing Beach  (第一海水浴场)

Reputed for its crystal water, gentle slope, mild waves and soft sand, the No.1 Bathing Beach is situated on Huiquan Bay (汇泉湾). The beach was first built in 1901 by the Germans. At present, the beach covers an area of 3.6 hectares (8.9 acres) and is well equipped with showers, entertainment such as bars and cafes as well as a security monitoring system covering the whole beach to ensure the safety of visitors. During summer, there are many people coming here to swim or simply enjoy the sunshine. For those who are interested, July, August and September is the best time to visit.

Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Whole day

InternChina - View of the No.1 Bathing Beach
InternChina – View of the No.1 Bathing Beach

Want to enjoy the beautiful views mentioned above and get some work experience in Qingdao at the same time? Apply now to come and join us! Internship places are also available in Chengdu and Zhuhai.


Internship Experience

Why is Zhuhai a good place for an internship?

When people think about China, the first cities that usually come to mind are, of course, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. If you know a little bit more about the country, you might think of Tibet, Canton, or even Nanjing and Xi’an. But if you have a limited knowledge and experience of China, it’s very likely that you’ve never heard of a city called Zhuhai.

Zhuhai, in the Southeastern province of Guangdong (where Guangzhou, or Canton, is also located), has a population of 1.5 million people. By Chinese standards, this can be considered a small city. So, why would a Westerner want to do an internship in Zhuhai?

To borrow the popular saying… “location, location, location”. Zhuhai is primely located in an area called the Pearl River Delta which, in geographical terms, is the area surrounding the Pearl River estuary. In economic terms, this area comprises several hugely important cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, to name a few. This region is considered an emerging megacity and is one of the main hubs of economic growth in China. Meaning: there are thousands of thriving businesses in the area and the number will only keep growing.

In 1980, Zhuhai was named a Special Economic Zone, due largely to its strategic location. This status has meant that the Chinese government is spending a great deal of resources to make Zhuhai a modern and leading city in terms of business, science, education, tourism and transportation. The amount of investment and the convenience of travel (you can walk across the border to Macau, take a 1-hour ferry to Hong Kong or the high-speed train to Guangzhou) has turned Zhuhai into a hugely attractive place for foreign capital. So, if you are a Western intern, it will not be hard to find a company that has business ties to your region of the world.

Now, we all know that an internship abroad isn’t just about the work experience. It is also about the chance to live in a place different from your own, have exciting adventures and learn about a new and exotic culture. Zhuhai is also the perfect place for this. While it is rapidly developing, it is still one of the smaller cities in the area and has not been affected by pollution, heavy traffic or crime. Here, you can relax on the beach after a long day of work and eat delicious traditional Cantonese food. If you’re homesick and longing for a bit of Western culture, you can hop over to Macau or Hong Kong for a day or a weekend.

So, as you can see, Zhuhai is arguably THE place to be when it comes to choosing an internship in China. The cherry on the cake? The Intern China family, ready to support you every step of the way and help make Zhuhai your home away from home.

Looking for the ideal internship location? Take full advantage of all that Zhuhai has to offer! Apply now or send us an email for more information.