Local connection: Is Hawaii ready for Chinese tourism? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

June 18, 2010

Local connection: Is Hawaii ready for Chinese tourism?

Governor Lingle and state tourism officials have completed a trip to China to drum up tourism and trade. The governor met with officials in Guangdong province. That's where most of the factories are. It's also where most ethnic Chinese in Hawaii trace their roots.

Guangdong's population is almost 100 million, equal to a third of the entire American population. The sheer size of China has everyone saying what a great tourist market it's gonna be. We're hearing people say, it's huge, and if we only get a tiny percentage, we'll prosper. That sounds like every business plan in silicon valley in the dot-com boom.

We're not the only destination to notice that china is big. If Chinese tourists come here in large numbers, are we ready? How many truly fluent Mandarin speakers have we got? Do we understand modern Chinese culture or only the old ways? Pretty soon now, this is gonna matter.