FOXTROTS

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

September 7 2011

 

Love-In. China, WTO, WTTC.

 

I

DON’T want to spoil the party (ok; I do), but there are a few questions over the latest love-in for WTO, WTTC, and China. The news is that China has joined the WTO/WTTC campaign – Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign.

 

 

First, that campaign. Essentially, it is to “stress the importance of [the travel business] to global growth and development.” Well, ok, but kinda self-evident. So is shoe-making.

 

 

Second, China “will double its efforts in tourism”. This does not mean double the marketing budget, double its staff, double outbound travel numbers, of course. So what does it mean? Over to you…

 

 

3. China will “take an active part in the WTO/WTTC initiative to promote tourism around the world”. What does it mean? Dunno, but certainly not what it says. It will continue to promote China as a destination, fullstop.

 

 

4. China, says the WTO, will put the travel business “at the centre of economic growth and development”. The centre? Meaning not at the top, and not at the bottom, I guess. So, once again, meaningless.

 

 

5. WTTC says China’s commitment to the travel business was “underlined this year with the declaration of the National Tourism Day of China”. Sorry, but isn’t that underwhelming?

 

 

6. Joining that ‘global leaders’ campaign “demonstrates China’s leadership role” in the business. Eh?

 

 

 

Does anyone else find it odd that China gets all this praise at the time when it still restricts its citizens from freely travelling internationally? Individuals are allowed to travel for leisure purposes only to Hong Kong and Macau – a category that now makes up 50% of visitors from China in those two destinations.

 

 

Surely that restriction is against what WTO and WTTC stand for? Why do they ignore this inconsistency? I suspect, like many others, because they need China and are willing to close their eyes to such inconsistencies in order to maintain their friendship with Beijing.

 

The Fox