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Poll: What’s Holding You Back from Traveling to China?

Jan 4, 2010
Shanghai Expo 2010

Shanghai Expo 2010 (May 1st - Oct 31st, 2010)

Happy New Year, everybody!

At the beginning of a new decade, I’d like to put some new stuff on Chinablog.cc. The first thing I noticed is the sidebar poll — “Have you ever been to China?” It has been there since last April (yes, that’s pretty old). It’s definitely time to change it. Let’s look at the result first:

Have you ever been to China?

  • Nope, I wish I can go someday. (40%, 45 Votes)
  • Yep, and it's a great experience. (32%, 36 Votes)
  • Aha, I was born in China! (19%, 21 Votes)
  • No, I don't want to visit China! (6%, 7 Votes)
  • Yes, but it was not so enjoyable. (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 112

Vote

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Honestly, the result is much better than I expected.

Of 109 total votes (as of 01/03/2009), only 9 votes (less than 10%) are negative: 3 voters say that they visited China but did not enjoy it; 6 voters say that they don’t want to visit China.

79 votes (72%) are positive: 35 voters say that they have been to China and enjoyed it. It suggests about a third of ChinaBlog.cc readers have been to China. Amazing! 44 voters say that they wish they can go someday. This is also very encouraging.

So, here is the new poll idea:

What’s Holding You Back from Traveling to China?

Right now, China is the world’s 4th most visited country by international tourist arrivals after France, USA, and Spain. With its fast growing tourism industry, more reciprocal deals with other countries, and exceptionally rich tourism resources, experts predict that China will become the 1st most visited country by international tourist arrivals by 2020.

So at this very moment,  What’s Holding You Back from Traveling to China?

I listed five options here:

1. Budget.

For people in Europe or Americas, China might be too far and expensive to go.

2. Language barrier.

Although Chinese kids are required to learn English since 1st grade (poor kids), majority of Chinese don’t speak English. It might be easy to find a young man to translate for you; and you might encounter hawkers who know how to talk about money in English, but overall, China is still a “Chinese” speaking country.

3. Undeveloped tourism industry.

Among Far East destinations, Japan and South Korea get pretty good amount of western tourists. They are not cheap and they don’t speak English either. But they are developed countries. For tourism industry, China still has a long way to go. Accommodation, transportation, park service, event organization, culture commercialization, etc. you name it!

4. Other negative impression about China.

IMHO, western media spend lots of efforts on China’s negative images, such as pollution, human rights, safety, etc. It’s not that bad in China, trust me. At least, we are better than Mexico, much better. 🙂

5. I am ready to go, just waiting for a better chance.

Well, if you fit into this category, maybe you should go this year. Start with Shanghai EXPO 2010. It will be on from May 1st to Oct 31 this year. You cannot find a better chance than this!

Here is the poll. Something else not listed above is the reason holding you back? You can leave a comment below and let me know.

What's holding you back from travelling to China?

View Results

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  1. January 5th, 2010 at 21:30 | #1

    I went to China quite a few times actually so I’m just waiting for another chance to go!

    When it comes to the money factor, people have to remember that even though the flight may be expensive (depends where you are from), life in China is still quite cheap. These days, it’s even easier with new hostels opening all the time. When I first went to China in the 90s, there was no hostel and no “backpacker” place. We used to rent rooms at local universities during the summer. Other than that, it was business hotels Western style (much more expensive).

    People have these crazy stereotypes about China. What I can say as a Westerner is, go with an open mind. Most Chinese are very friendly (expect when queuing :lol:) and are not exactly “brainwashed” by the government. Politics is not a taboo and people are usually open-minded.

    Keep in mind that China is super safe (except when crossing the streets!!!), that pollution won’t kill you (I mean, come on, there are some long terms issues but most countries are quite polluted). As for human rights… yes, the government should improve. That said, the USA still has death penatly, Saudi Arabia treats women like cattle, France doesn’t have a great record of treating foreigners right, quite a few countries around the world are guilty of imperialism… so sure, China is not perfect but don’t believe everything you see on TV.

  2. January 5th, 2010 at 21:44 | #2

    @Zhu
    lol, Zhu, thank you for your comments. It’s really helpful here to have a French Canadian’s personal experience.

    You know quite a lot about China, and I love your humorous “excepts”. Chinese are somewhat like Italian as compared in this funny video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SDggGCciDg

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