At this time of the year in Beijing, as summer gives way to autumn and the Chinese offer mooncakes to the Lady of the Moon, there’s a change in the direction of the wind that blows through the city.
From one day to the next, when I was there last week, a hot, humid summer day gave way to cool, blustery autumn winds.
I feel the same change in wind direction taking place in China’s travel market.
Perhaps it all started two years ago with the hosting of the world’s largest sporting event which it did with spectacular style.
Perhaps it’s to do with hosting the world’s largest World Expo which it is doing with spectacular scale.
Or perhaps it’s just the fact that it’s now the world’s second largest economy in the world and is driving the global economic recovery and what it does with its currency matters so much to the rest of the world.
I sense a new-found confidence in its people. In one generation, I have seen the change from a nation that was looking to learn all it could from the outside world to one that now knows it has much to offer the outside world and that it can pick and choose from those who would teach it.
Within my own family, I see it. My relatives in Haikou, Hainan, no longer depend on their overseas brethren for handouts; they have more – and beyond materialistic goods, they have a deep sense of rootedness which my father gave up in search of a better life abroad.
This shift in sentiment was clear at the China Travel Distribution Summit in Beijing last week.
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