CULTURAL AND TOURISM EXCHANGES BETWEEN CHINA AND SOUTH ASIA
Both inbound and outbound Chinese tourism is increasing in an astounding rate. Chinese Tourism Outbound Research Institute (COTRI) forecasts that by 2030 the total number of Chinese outbound trips will reach 400 million (with two out of three going beyond Greater China. Almost 48 percent of the overseas Chinese tourists, however, had journeys to three special administrative regions of China namely, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Tourism has become more important as China is trying to develop and maintain good relations with the countries in and around the region. China has ranked the first for many years in outbound tourism market among all countries and regions in the world. China has become the largest inbound tourism-generating region for ten countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Maldives and Indonesia, USA and Italy. Chinese government should encourage its outbound tourists to visit the countries more which are of strategically important to Chinese economy for two reasons: South Asia is now the fastest-growing region in the world, and winning the heart of the littoral people by undertaking socio-economic activities along with the pure economic activities. Therefore, some recommendations are given on what China and South Asian countries should do to strengthen the tourism relationship by enhancing two-way tourist flow.