China: A growth engine for Asian tourism

Alan A Lew

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the development of tourism in China, with particular focus on how China's tourism development affects South and Southeast Asia. The discussion begins with an overview of modern tourism in China, how it has developed in recent decades and how it is projected to grow in the future. This is followed by an examination of the tourism relationship between China and its neighbours to the south, in terms of: travel between China and South and Southeast Asia, tourism investments between China and South and Southeast Asia, and border tourism between China and South and Southeast Asian countries China was essentially closed to foreign visitors following the victory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949. The few foreigners who did succeed in visiting China in the 1950s and 1960s were mostly from the communist bloc countries of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, North Korea and North Vietnam. Some early efforts at resurrecting a tourism industry were made in the mid-1950s, but these were set back by the political instability of the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s (Lew, 1987). Following this period of disarray and starvation in rural China, a revived interest in tourism resulted in the establishment of the Bureau of Travel and Tourism in 1964. A minimal number of tourists from Western countries (4500 in 1966) were allowed to visit China during this period just before the start of the Cultural Revolution (late 1960s to early 1970s) when tourism was almost nonexistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTourism in South and Southeast Asia
Subtitle of host publicationIssues and Cases
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781136002267
ISBN (Print)9780750641289
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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