June 27, 2015

CHINESE TOURISM AND LUXURY SPENDING SOARS – I’ve been a Fulbright Scholar in lovely Ljubljana, Slovenia this year and I’ve been visiting Europe since the 1980s and this trend is super noticeable on the ground here.  My last long trip to Europe was summer of 2011, and I don’t remember seeing swarms of Chinese tourists carrying Prada bags, and using selfie-sticks with iPhones that year or earlier.  I grew up in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s and there were lots of Chinese immigrants and virtually no Chinese tourists, because if you got out of China in those years you stayed out of China.

I actually take the tourism as a pretty good sign.  Better that the Chinese spend their money in freer and more democratic markets.  It is also good that they get a view of how the rest of the wealthy world lives, with cleaner air, louder political debates, free access to Google and Facebook, etc.  When growth runs at 10% or higher and lots of folks are making money, people are willing to put up with a lot of BS from their government.  Once people have some money and growth slows it’s a lot harder to keep that balance, especially if the middle and upper middle class is traveling elsewhere and taking notes (and pictures, lots and lots of pictures).

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.