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Hospitality Industry in China

Nowadays, the hospitality industry is a powerful system of the regional economy and tourist center and an important component of the tourism economy. In simple words, “hospitality is essentially a relationship based on hosts and guests” (Lashley and Morrison, 2000, p. 15).

In order to fully describe and explore this theme, it is important to introduce the cultural aspect and the positive and negative impacts on the practice of the hospitality industry.

The cultural aspect

The cultural aspect plays an integral and important role in the modern world. Besides, the cultural aspect plays a significant role in how well people communicate and cooperate with each other. It should be noted that cultural tourism is one of the biggest and quickest-growing tourism markets. Different creative industries and culture are more and more being used to encourage the places of destination and increase their attractiveness and competitiveness. Nowadays, a lot of locations actively develop their palpable and impalpable cultural values as a means of developing relative benefits in a rival tourism marketplace, and to create local originality in front of globalization.
The positive impacts

Surrounding the hospitality industry, there are a lot of impacts, which have negative and positive aspects affecting them.

It is necessary to note that a cultural aspect is a very important component and plays a big role in the hospitality industry. The cultural skills help to deal more effectively with foreign visitors. The cultural aspect itself is a big impact, which has effects on the hospitality industry. It is important to pay more attention to the cultural aspect in order to understand how the cultural aspect will have impact on the practice of hospitality management and to find out that negative and positive aspects are involved, tea culture in the hospitality industry between China and Australia will give us a perfect understanding of how this tea ceremony affected the country’s economy that leads to the effects of the hospitality industry.

China has some different unique features, and can also create a competitive environment for visits and vacations. Nowadays, China ranked first in the area of tea plantations and the total volume of production. China is one of the world’s largest producers of tea. In this country, tea culture began to emerge a few millennia ago. The Chinese first discovered tea, were the first people who began to breed tea trees and first figured out how to process the tea leaves in order to get a flavored drink. Almost all nations, one way or another, have borrowed the cult of tea from the Chinese. Tea is a traditional drink in China and is used daily. The Chinese tea ceremony is not only popular with the crowds in China, but also abroad. “Tea ceremonies may be held on a variety of occasions…” (Kondo, 1985, p. 288). The art of preparing and drinking tea helps people to tune into a contemplative mood, to forget about the daily hustle and to share calmness and composure with others. The Chinese drink tea in everyday situations and during public events and rituals. In China, tea is not just a drink, but it played an important role in traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese cuisine and Buddhism. In order to get tea benefits in full, it is necessary to use it very carefully. Nothing could distract the Chinese people from a particular perception of the world of tea; they contrived a special tea house. A tea ceremony unites people in a joint action. The tea energy gives clarity of thought and clarity of actions. It destroys boredom, filling a variety of experiences every passing moment. According to Evans, “tea is made with only water, therefore, good teas require good water” (1992, p. 28). The Chinese tea ceremony is a way to show your hospitality to other people. This is a well-known fact that the Chinese emphasize several types of special circumstances for making and sharing tea drink. First of all, this is “a sign of respect”. In Chinese society, this is a tradition to express your respect to other people with the help of a cup of tea. Sharing tea drinking is considered to be a kind of “an act of solidarity”, offering the cups of tea can be in different situations interpreted as an apology and a request for conciliation, a demonstration of gratitude, etc. That is why this cultural aspect is very important in the hospitality industry. According to Stevens (2001), “Good communication is central to a strong ethical climate…” (p. 240). This is very important to make perfect conditions for tourists. In turn, Lockwood and Jones emphasized that there was no responsibility for guests to return hospitality to hosts (2000).

It is not superfluous to mention that the Chinese tea ceremony (it is called “kung Fu cha” in China) by their nature cannot be fussy, carries out in a hurry, among other things. According to Needham (2000), this is a commercial show that is based on the tea preparation approach. Probably, it was originated in Fujian.
In the beginning you need to make up your mind physically: remove outer clothing, change your shoes in soft straw slippers and turn off cell phones, so that nothing “outside” distractions. It is recommended to dress in “eastern” clothing – a kimono, embroidered by (for ex., dragons, cherry blossoms, etc.). These actions make up your mind psychologically. People are serious about this tea ceremony and it requires an inspirational and meaningful approach. In China, a lot of people state that the tea ceremony is the interaction of fire, water, tea leaves, spaces and conditions.

The best way to leave a good impression about your country is through culture and people. These actions help to form close relationships that will promote to exchange different services and goods between the guests and the hosts. Tea culture in the hospitality industry will help to promote people to buy different sorts of tea. Many tourists bring tea from China as gifts to their relatives and friends. This is really very good for the country’s economy. The Chinese tea ceremony will attract foreigners and, consequently, the economy of the country will increase and strengthen. In addition to the above-mentioned information, it is necessary to add that new trade routes will open up and export sales of tea will increase. The positive impacts could be that the cultural aspect (a tea ceremony) is a way of experiencing another culture and when the foreign tourists experience and get to know new things it widens knowledge and, consequently, affects your own culture.

The negative impacts

Despite the large number of positive impacts on the hospitality industry, the cultural aspect also has negative impacts and consequences.

First of all, it is important to emphasize negative impacts on the hospitality industry, such as the cultural conflicts. A cultural conflict is a conflict that arises in the mind of an individual who locate at the crossroads of two cultures with conflicting norms, standards, requirements. In other words, the cultural conflict is a clash of different behavioral stereotypes. The cultural conflicts are widespread in tourism, the difference of cultures and customs of different people and countries often leads to mutual misunderstanding, and sometimes even to enmity. Besides, there are the factors, the so-called “socio-cultural nature”, that adversely affect the livelihoods of local people, their culture and traditions.

“Culture” is one of the main aspects of tourism. This is a well-known fact that the experience of different unique cultures can be very useful and educational for the foreign visitors and highly beneficial and useful for the community. However, tourism is a very invasive and intrusive process, which directs different traditional communities in the modern world, threatening their cultural products and different distinct lifestyles.
This is a proven fact that commercialization, the loss of identity and originality in the products of local craftsmen are the factors caused by different negative impacts.

In addition to this, negative impacts are: the tourists’ invasions into the inner life of churches, desecration of religious traditions. An excessive number of tourists could provoke such actions as damage to the archaeological, historical and architectural monuments because of an improper use or because of an excessive flow of tourists, which exceeds the throughput capacity or inappropriate development.

Furthermore, an excessive number of tourists will lead to air pollution due to an excessive use of vehicles with internal combustion engines in the tourist areas, as well as noise pollution (aircraft, boats and hydrofoils, the excessive number of vehicles). There will be the problems of disposing of garbage in natural areas, spa centers and tourist sites. Moreover, an excessive number of tourists will lead to the violation of ecology of natural areas due to unreasonable construction of tourist infrastructure.

The negative impact also includes the fact that foreign culture can make foreign tourists uncomfortable. This is a proven fact that not all people like tea, especially the Chinese one. Furthermore, not everyone likes conducting a tea ceremony. The cultural issues may arise on the basis of these differences. In other words, there are people who love Chinese culture and would be delighted to accept and carry out the Chinese tea ceremony, but there are those who do not accept this kind of art, and will only have a negative attitude to this venture. It should be noted that Tillotson stated about negative cultural impacts that “Although it is true that tourism provides new outlets for traditional crafts and for the performing arts, work done for tourists is rarely of the quality produced for a more experienced market…Although tourists may be interested in traditional culture, they bring with them alien values whose superficial attraction leads the local people away from tradition. Tourists can be seen as wealthy and successful role models. Many local people aspire to be like them – an aspiration in most cases doomed to failure. Tourism creates dissatisfaction with the local culture and is unable to supply anything of value in its place” (1988, p. 1940).

Growing demand from tourists for the basic goods and services often leads to higher prices, which adversely affects the local residents whose income is unchanged. Tourism development and associated increases in demand for housing could lead to a catastrophic increase in the cost of land and construction costs. But not only is it difficult for locals to meet and pay for their daily needs and this leads to the domination of other people in land markets and to the internal migration that destroy an economic opportunity for the local residents. If the number of tourists, long-term residents in some areas, exceeds a certain critical number, it can lead to a catastrophic rise in prices. Tourism development can cost the local government and taxpayers a lot of money. Businessmen involved in business development, may require the government to improve the airport, roads and other infrastructure, which usually leads to an increase in taxes and other financial costs. The public resources spent on financing infrastructure and violation of tax liabilities may reduce the public investment in other more important areas, such as education and health.

O’Connor (2005, p. 267) admitted that ”only once an understanding of hospitality’s origins and its place in human nature is achieved can one expect to discover what hospitality means today, and more importantly what it will mean to those entering the industry in the future”.


Thus, taking the above-mentioned information into account, it is important to draw a conclusion that there are both negative and positive aspects, which affect the hospitality industry. These two sides of the impacts were discussed. On the one hand, the cultural aspect as the Chinese tea ceremony helped to improve the tourism environment, living a perfect image about this country and attracted a lot of tourists. Consequently, this helped to improve service and management quality and increased the exchange of knowledge and culture between countries. On the other hand, there are negative impacts that include cultural conflicts; air pollution due to an excessive use of vehicles, a large number of tourists will reduce the quality of services and a catastrophic rise in prices, etc. Moreover, there are people who love Chinese culture and will accept and carry out the Chinese tea ceremony with pleasure, but there are those who do not like this kind of art, and will only have a negative attitude to this ceremony. Morrison and O’Gorman emphasized that “It [hospitality] represents the cordial reception, welcome and entertainment of guests or strangers of diverse social backgrounds and cultures charitably…” (2006, p. 3). In addition, Jones (1996) said that “hospitality is made up of 2 (two) distinct services, which are the provision of overnight accommodation for people staying away from home and the provision of sustenance for people eating away from home” (p. 1).


Evans, J.C., 1992. Tea in China: The History of China’s National Drink. Contributions to the Study of World History. New York: Greenwood Press.
Jones, P., 1996. Introduction to hospitality operations: an indispensable guide to the industry. New York: Continuum.
Kondo, D., 1985. The Way of Tea: A Symbolic Analysis. Man, New Series, Vol. 20, No. 2, p. 288.
Lashley, C. and Morrison, A., eds. 2000. In Search of Hospitality: Theoretical Perspectives and Debates. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Lockwood, A. and Jones, P., 2000. “Managing hospitality operations”, Lashley, C., Morrison, A., In search of hospitality: Theoretical perspectives and debates, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Morrison, A. and O’ Gorman, K., 2006. Hospitality studies: Liberating the Power of the Mind, paper presentation, CAUTHE2006. Melbourne: Victoria University.
Needham, J., 2000. Science and Civilization of China. Fermentations and Food Science. V.6, P.V. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
O’Connor, D., 2005. Towards a new interpretation of “hospitality”. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 17, No. 3, p. 267.
Stevens, B., 2001. Hospitality Ethics: Responses from Human Resource Directors and Students to Seven Ethical Scenarios. Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 30, No. 3, p. 240.
Tillotson, S., 1988. “Cultural Tourism” or Cultural Destruction? Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 23, No. 38, p. 1940.