Is It Necessary to Develop Toarism?
A Little Good
Will Can Help People Understand Each Other
Today we had an American family, the Robinsons, for
The man is in China on a joint project with the
department where Mum works. They work in the same office and as Mum knows
a little English she often interpretes for him too, so they got to know
each other very well.
He had often
expressed his wish of meeting her family, but Mum hardly dared to invite
him to our old slum of a place. Now that.we've moved to our new apartment
we have a more or less presentable place to entertain him and his family.
Granny was the only one who had any misgivings about having "highnosed
foreigners" in our house.
They came about twelve - Mr. & Mrs. Robinson and
their two young daughters about Xiao Hong's age. Mrs. Robinson gave Mum a
bunch of fresh flowers, bringing colour, freshness and their good will.
Mum did the introduction and it was left to ourselves to get to know each
other. As was natural Xiao Hong soon got on very well with the two girls
Judy and Annie. They all had a common love for Xiao Hong's little kitten
and they had endless fun with it.
Mrs. Robinson was much younger than her husband, but
she was friendly and kindly and knows a little Chinese. There was a moment
of embarrassment when Granny asked her age. Mum was about to apologize
when Mrs. Robinson laughed and said it was quite all right, that she had
been here long enough to know it was the Chinese custom. She quite blandly
told us that she was thirty-two, almost twenty years her husband's junior.
When they learned that Mum was almost ten years her senior, they were
genuinely surprised, for Mum does look quite young. "No wonder you
are so good and experienced at your work. I had thought you were fresh
from . college! " Mr. Robinson said, perhaps a little flatteringly.
And of course they thoroughly enjoyed the dinner. Iike
a perfect Chinese hostess Mum and especially Granny kept stuffing them
with food and urging them to eat and to drink, apologizing all the time
that "it's-all very meager and coarse fare. " The Robinsons, on
the other hand, were loud in their praises and protestations. "We
used to hear about Chinese hospitality and now we know what it's really
like. How can you describe such a lavish meal as meager and coarse? Any
hostess in the West would be proud of such a feast instead of apologizing
for it," Mrs. Robinson said to Mum.
"And another thing we don't do in the West is to
urge the guests to eat and drink," Mr. Robinson added. "With so
much good things before me I certainly don't need any urging. The problem
is rather how to prevent myself from over-eating! But back at home I often
had to ask for a second helping and my hostess would feel flattered that I
should want more of her stuff. Here you don't even give me a chance to ask
for,more!" We all burst out laughing at that.
When they rose to leave they thanked us profusely not
only for'the excellent dinner, but for giving them such a nice time.
"Living in Friendship.Hotel isn't really living in China. Today we
feel we are really in China. We' ve learnt much more about the Chinese
people and Chinese way of life today than half a year in the Friendship
Hotel. You must all come to visit us one day. Or better still, come and
see us in the States on day. "
Judy and Annie were reluctant to go. They made Xiao
Hong promise to visit them at Friendship Hotel, telling her not to forget
bringing the kitten with her! They insisted on giving everyone of us a hug
and a kiss, which quite embarrassed me. I think Granny was really touched
when they kissed her. All her misgivings had been dispelled.
It' s surprising how a little good will on both
sides can break language and cultural barriers.
Read the following passages. Underline the important
viewpoints while reading.
Tourist Trade Contributes Absolutely Nothing
to Increasing Understanding between Nations
The tourist trade is booming. With all this ceming and
going, you'd expect greater understanding to develop between the nations
of the world. Not a bit of it! Superb systems of communication by air, sea
and land make it possible for us to visit each other's countries at a
moderate cost. What was once the "grand tour", reserved for only
the very rich, is now within everybody's grasp. The package tour and
chartered flights are not to be sneered at. Modern travellers enjoy a
level of comfort which the lords and ladies on grand tours in the old days
couldn't have dreamed of. But what's the sense of this mass exchange of
populations if the nations of the world remain basically ignorant of each
Many tourist organizations are directly responsible for
this state of affairs. They deliberately set out to protect their clients
from too much contact with the local population. The modern tourist leads
a cosseted, sheltered life. He lives at international hotels, where he
eats his international food and.sips his international drink while he
gazes at the natives from a distance. Conducted tours to places of
interest are carefully censored. The tourist is allowed to see orily what
the organizers want him to see and no more.
schedule makes it impossible for the tourist to wander off on his own ~
and anyway, language is always a barrier, so he is only too happy to be
protected in this way. At its very worst, this leads to a new and hideous
kind of colonisation. The summer quarters of the inhabitants of the cite
universitair are temporarily re-established on the island of Corfu.
Blackpool is recreated at Torremolinos where the traveller goes not to
eat'paella, but fish and chips.
The sad thing about this situation is that it leads to
the persistence of national stereotypes. We don't see the people of other
nations as they really are, but as we have been brought up to believe they
are. You can test this for yourself. Take five nationalities, say, French,
German, English, American and Italian. Now in your mind, match them with
these five adjectives: musical, amorous, cold, pedantic, naive. Far from
providing us with any insight into the national characteristics of the
people just mentioned, these adjectives actually act as barriers.
So when you
set out on your, travels, the only characteristics you notice are those
which confirm your preconceptions. You come away with the highly
unoriginal and inaccurate impression that, say, "Anglo-Saxons are
hypocriies" or that "Latin peoples shout a lot", You only
have to make a few foreign friends to understand how absurd and harmful
national stereotypes are. But how can you make foreign friends when the
tourist trade does its best to prevent you?
Carried to an extreme, stereotypes can be positively
dangerous. Wild generalisations stir up racial hatred and blind us to the
basic facthow. trite it soundsl -that all people are human. We are all
similar to each other and at the same time all unique.
2. Leaving with a Love of China
Very soon I will be leaving China. I am well aware that
three and a half years is not enough time to "understand" China.
But I want to express my appreciation for what has been a marvellous
experience, made even richer because I worked for the Coal Industry
Ministry at Shandong Mining College, first at Jinan, and for the past 2
1/2 years at Tai'an. Living on campus in the small city of Tai'an,at the
foot of Taishan, was a privilege. It gave me a view of China which can
never be afforded to those who live in Beijing or Shanghai or any large
city. After all, Beijing is not China, any more than New York City is the
Of course there have been hardships, frustrations and
difficulties. But that,s life, anywhere.
The courtesy, consideration and friendliness which have
been extended to me, daily, are precious and lasting. I have traveled over
much of China. Most of all, more than all the antiquities, battlefields,
scenery, coal mines, factories, temples, operas, and the rest, it is the
Chinese people who captured my heart - sincere, warm, incredibly
industrious, unsophisticated, and capable of deeper, truer friendship than
most Westerners can even imagine.
I have been welcomed into the homes of many Chinese. I
have friends from 3 to 83, peasants, workers, professors, doctors, cooks,
drivers. I have known people as they suffer and struggle and laugh and
weep and argue and have fun - like all human beings. I have always tried
not to "look through American eyes", but to see Chinese as
I suggest to those shallow elitists who.can't live
without their golf "exercise", that they come to Tai'an and
carry 100 pounds of cement on a shoulder pole up the 7, 000 steps of
Taishan. Wonderful exercise, and you can earn 2 yuan a day. Those who
complain about Yransportation difficulties of any kind can watch the lao
taitai-the old ladies with bound feet - who walk from their villages and
make the arduous ascent of Taishan, cheerful and spry. Or ride a bus in
any Chinese city at the rush hour, as the Chinese must do every day. (Or
any American city; or deal with a Manhattan cabbie. ) And those who
complain of the bureaucracy should try going to the Social Security
Administration in the US when you are one of the poor and powerless.
I hope to come back to China some day. But. no matter
what, I will never lose what I,ve been given here.
My thanks to all Chinese for showing me a new, higher
standard of strength of character and kindness. And my thanks particularly
to the people of Shandong Mining College for their unlimited, unstinted
3. Yunnan Makes Efforts to Boost Tourism
Starting from scratch, tourism in Yunnan Province has
made progress by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Only 1, 284 foreign
tourists went there in 1978, the year when the provincial tourism bureau
was established. The figure rose to 121, 300 in 1988 - an average annual
increase of 25. 4 per cent, said deputy bureau chief Miao Kuihe in an
In the provincial capital of Kunming alone, there are
11 posh hotels, with accommodations chiefly for foreign tourists, and nine
travel agencies that provide services for them. There are also 10 arts and
crafts stores in Kunming with a variety of articles with exotic flavours,
including national costumes of the minorities.
In such a short time, tourism has asserted its role in
development of the province.
In Kunming, tourism has provided jobs for 12, 000
people. In the whole province 25, 000 people work in tourist departments.
Tourism has helped to promote the catering trade,
transportation service and commerce of Kunming. It has helped to
accelerate the city construction and its embellishment. Moreover, contact
with tourists from afar has widened the horizons of the locals, deputy
director of the municipal tourism bureau Peng Shaoxi said.
It has become a consensus of local authorities that
tourism is a vanguard ndustry in opening the province to the outside
world;it is of trategic importance in economic development, and it
represents the orientation of urban construction. In 1988, the provincial
government listed tourism as the sixth industry in.importance in economic
development, said deputy bureau chief Miao.
Now, 29 of Yunnan's municipalities and counties are
made open to foreigners, a fact favourable to tourism.
Because of Yunnan' s abundant tourist resources, Miao
envisions still brighter prospects for the tourism of the province.
It is estimated that by 1995, Yunnan will receive about
200, 000 tourists annually and by 2000, their number will rise to 320,
000. Hotels by then should have accommodation for 10,000 people.
To meet the needs of tourism, appropriate measures are
being taken in various aspects, Miao said.
In April 1988, a centre was set up providing short-term
professional training for three to five months for employees in tourist
departments. All th'e big hotels have their own training section, aiming
at improved service. Seven young employees have been sent to the United
States to learn management expertise. Dozens of chefs are in Hong Kong to
learn various styles of cuisine. And some young employees are sent to
college to learn foreign languages as well as professional skills in
tourism, Miao said.
4. Advantages of Yunnan to Develop Tourism
According to the publicity chief of the provincial
tourism bureau, Chen Keqin, on the strength of its distinctive geographic
and ethnic features, Yunnan has the following advantages for the
development of tourism :
A good number of scenic wonders. They are roughly
located in three areas. First, those in the area centring around Kunming,
of which the Stone Forest is one. The spectacular, jagged rocky formations
that rear their heads to the skies are winning world fame. There are also
karst caves in this area.
Second, those in west Yunnan with the two ancient cities Dali
and I.ijiang. The Tiger-leaping Gorge of the Jinsha River deserves a
mention. It is 16 kilome;res long. The narrowest section of it is about 30
metres wide, which, legend claims, tigers once leapt across. Form the
surface of the river to the top of the precipitous mountains on the two
sides, the height is 3,900 metres. Within the 16-kilometre length of the
gorge, there are 18 risky rapids and in so short a distance, the drop of
the water is 210 metres, averaging 14 metres for each kilometre.The gorge
resounds with the roaring and dashing of huge waves of the racing water.
Third, Xishuangbanna Prefecture in south Yunnan. With
its lush tropical forests, the area has many fascinating features, in both
natural scenery and cultural life.
Genial climate, with all the year mild
and springlike. The average annual temperature is 19.3 degrees Centigrade.
As a result, the province is a "kingdom of fauna and flora",
with a variety of rare animals and birds, such as elephants, snub-nosed
monkeys and peacocks, and tens of thousands of varieties of plants.
Rich local or special products. They include fine
tobacco, tea, ham, medicinal herbs, marble handicraft articles and the
Yunnan baiyao, a medicine for haemorrhaging and wounds.
Folk customs. Inhabited by 24 minorities, Yunnan has
many national folk customs, festivals, traditions, dances, costumes and
houses that are of great interest. For instance, the water splashing
festival in April, with dragon boat regatta, of the Dai people in
Xishuangbanna and the torch festival in July, of a few minorities
including the Yis, Bais and Sanis, are two of the most famous annual
With such a variety of things to see in Yunnan, tourist
parties with special. purposes have been organized. For instance, there
are parties to see the azalea looms of all types in various places:
mountain climbing; the folk customs of the norities; or walking tours
through scenic routes.
However, according to the deputy director of Kunming
tourism bureau, Peng Shaoxi, there are hindrances to Yunnan's tqurism.
Woefully inadequate transportation facilities. Foreign
tourists often find it hard to get into Yunnan, while those who are
leaving are often stranded at Kunming's airport for lack of flights.It
often takes 10 days to finish a trip in Xishuangbanna, too long for most
5. Good Impression about China
Last May, my wife and I visited Beijing, the capital of
your beautiful country, and attended the Fourth World Conference on
Continuing Engineering Education. We received a warm welcome everywhere we
went. Combining business and pleasure, we visited many areas of the city
and met quite a few citizens. from all walks of life.
From our visit, we know that China is a great country; we know that the
Chinese people are warm and friendly; we know that Beijing is much safer
than most American cities. We have told all our friends about our
wonderful experiences. In a few years, we hope to return to China and
teach for a semester.
Unfortunately, the American people do not see your
country as we did. Our television media does not convey the warm
hospitality of the people. Our newspapers do not report the steady
modernization of the past 10 years, nor do they mention the continuing
increase in the standard
of living. Sad to say, the American public thinks of China as it was 40
The solution to my country,s mistaken impressions about
China is simple, but it will take time: continue our open door relations;
continue our economic trade; most especially, encourage Americans to visit
China and experience her friendship and charm!
6. Fond Memories of a Trip to India
At least twice I thought about giving up my trip to
attend a conference on counseling in India last month. The first time was
when it seemed I could never, ever get my visa to India. The second time
was after I had the visa and went fo buy my plane ticket. There I learned
the ticket I had booked was not available because of a computer error.
But I persevered and I am glad, because the trip turned
out to be nice although it was too short for me to see much of lndia.
From the moment we landed at Bombay airport, we three
women from Beijing were surrounded by the differences in language, people,
food, scenes and even traffic-one drives on the right side of the road in
China but on the left side in India.
It was a completely strange place, but I felt easy and
The Indians we met were so friendly that when each of
the participants to the conference was invited to say one thing about the
meeting, I said, "I am glad to have this chance to know you beautiful
Indian women and hand'some Indian men."
I would not forget the guard at the exit of the
international airport in Bombay who kindly insisted that we wait in seats
usually reserved for the guards because the people who were supposed to
meet us failed to show up as expected.
And when I wanted to make a phone call to get somebody
to pick us up and could get no coins anywhere, another guard took me to a
phone reserved for airport staff .
It could be a very frustrating experience to miss one's
flight and arrive at the destination eight hours later than planried,
which is what happened to us after the conference.
But it turned out somehow not as frustrating as it
might have been. We were at the Coimbatore airport on our way back to
Bombay after the conference, and we were to leave for home from Bombay the
We were told that we could not take the 10 a. m. flight
as we had planned because our tickets had not been confirmed properly and
there were no seats available. But we were told that we could be in Bombay
that evening if we took a flight to a nearby airport in Bangalore and go
from there to Bombay.
We were killing time by measuring the airport's modest
waiting room when an airport officer stopped in front of us, introduced
himself as the officer on duty at the airport, and assured us that there
would be no problem, that things would be straightened out for us, and
everything would be all right.
In, half an hour we had our new tickets in our hands.
Yet, before long, we were called to the ticket counter
and informed that we would not be able to catch our connection flight at
the Bangalore airport because the flight from Coimbatore would be one hoor
late. And we would have to take the next flight leaving Bangalore and
arriving in Bombay at 8 p.m.
One hour later, wben I was thinking how unlucky we were
that day, we were lining up for the security check. A young woman in
airport uniform approached us and said, "We are so sorry that we
failed to arrange your morning flight. We did try, but..."
You don't hear such words very often when you are upset
by travel problems in China, even when you are the victims of the travel
Her words swept away my bitter feelings at having to
spenci. the whole day at airports while we might have been exploring
Bombay for the afternoon.
And that was one of the several moments when I could
not help but fall in love with the Indian people.
I fell in love with them earlier when a taxi driver, a
quiet old man, followed me and gave me his drinking water to wash my mouth
when I got sick halfway to the conference place.
I fell in love with them when the children at the
school close to the conference building passed by and greeted us with
"hello" and "morning" with smiles and a little
I fell in love with them when the college students in
Bombay, sitting on steps at the gate, waved to us cheerfully across the
Yes, I would love to visit India again. I want to see
the protected forests and the flowers blooming everywhere and the eharming,
elegant women in colourful Saris again, and of course, the India Airlines
staff members, too.
And I want to see no beggars along the streets, no
slums alongside the beautiful beach in Bombay, no school-age boys serving
at the tables in restaurants, to hear no new stories about young wives who
are burnt to death because the dowry from their parents failed to satisfy
the husbands' families.
And I hope India will see more Chinese visitors in the
near future and China see more Indian visitors, too.