onsdag 18. november 2020

Kyoto is empty of Chinese tourists, and Japanese netizens would like to keep it that way

The coronavirus might have curtailed international travel from China, but it hasn’t stopped what the United Nations World Tourism Organization identified as “the leading tourism outbound market in the world both in departure numbers as well as total expenditure” from wanting to explore beyond the nation’s borders. In lieu of real-life expeditions, they have been making do with tours of popular destinations, including the Palace of Versailles, in France, and London’s British Museum, live-streamed by travel companies.

On November 9, Alibaba’s travel platform Fliggy joined forces with the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) to “bring popular tourist attractions in Kyoto online to Chinese netizens”, according to Alizila, the news portal for Alibaba Group (owner of the South China Morning Post). The former imperial capital was chosen because of its existing popularity with travellers from the Middle Kingdom.

English-language, state-owned news channel CGTN reported that Japan overtook Thailand to become the top overseas destination for Chinese tourists in 2019. Naturally, attraction-rich Kyoto was one of the most-visited cities, affording sightseers the opportunity to admire the cherry blossoms, sample local delicacies and tour temples.