Your humble editor hopes that all readers had a peaceful and happy start into the new year 2024! This is the first edition for this year and we sincerely hope that not all news to report and analyse will be bad.
2023 has been confirmed by now to have been the hottest year on record and the new year immediately starting with record frost in Scandinavia, heatwaves in Australia and real high waves at the coast of California, while the area around the headquarter of COTRI in Hamburg was widely flooded by unprecedented levels of rainfall. In the USA, football games had to take place at temperatures of -20 degrees C.
To stop listening to the news or to publish books stating that climate change will not be so bad after all will however not be part of the solution.
2023 has also seen its fair share of extreme weather situation, resulting in a new source market segment, the climate refugees, seeking more moderate climates away from heat, rain and storms.
Your humble editor spent the first week of the new year in Shiraz in Southern Persia, famous for its famous kind of grapes of the same name, which, alas, are not made into the wine anymore which is so famously praised by the poet Hafez (1317-1390). A visit to his monument to pay homage to the biggest son of the city was of course part of the visit. Shiraz has been suffering for a long time already from the lack of rain or snow, with drinking water and irrigation (for the grapes for instance) in peril.
The reason to travel to Shiraz was the invitation by the organisers of the 13th Pars Tourism and Handicrafts Fair from January 3-6, 2024. COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute shared a stand at the fair with the sister organisation Meaningful Tourism Center.
The fair was so well visited that the original opening hours from 15 to 21 h had to be extended for the last two days by more than an hour in the evening. The current situation of China’s outbound tourism and the outlook especially for Iran was presented and discussed at the stand with many visitors, from tourism ministers and ambassadors to many eager and interested students. Hundreds of photos had to be taken with “the professor”.
As part of the program your humble editor could furthermore welcome more than 100 participants to a China outbound tourism workshop in the morning of the 4th of January. The Iran received a growing number of package tour groups in 2023, however, the business is tightly controlled by some Chinese residing in Iran in cahoots with the local airline Mahan.
In fact, Iran could easily rank among the Top 10 tourism destinations for Chinese, given the richness of culture and heritage, the hospitality of its inhabitants, the diversity of regional and minority cultures in dress, food, music etc. and the landscapes offering everything from high mountains to beaches in close vicinity to China.
Some enterprising tour guides are offering their own itineraries away from the usual sightseeing round-trip, especially visiting minority villages and learning about their specific customs, food and lifestyle. They use Douyin (Tiktok) to find their customers, who pay on arrival in cash, as Iran is not a part of the international bank exchange system and payment on arrival is not so exotic as it would be in other destinations.
The visit to Iran has also been the reason why this weeks edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE includes as Topic of the week an analysis of China’s outbound tourism to Iran. The Deep Dive uses the start of the new year for a more general outlook to the future of international tourism and the need to change it from its current structure. The Facts graph shows details about the global warming in 2023.
The edition of COTRI INTELLIGENCE includes as usual the COTRI weekly Editorial, the text “China this week”, the News and the COTRI News in the free content part. For the Topic of the Week, the Deep Dive consulting and the Facts and Views we invite you to consider a Premium or Premium Plus subscription and offer a special welcoming subscription for one month, celebrating the upcoming Year of the Dragon, with a 59% discount here: https://cotri-intelligence.ghost.io/welcoming-offer.
As usual, all best wishes to our readers from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the entire COTRI INTELLIGENCE team!