Tibet’s tourist trade is still feeling the aftershocks of the riots and crackdown despite a government campaign to bring ’em in, according to the International Herald Tribune. (The price tag for visiting the Potala Palace will not go up until May 2009, for example.) Travel analysts, whoever they are, predict big things for China’s tourism at some point in the vague and unknowable future (i.e. 2009):

Analysts predict China’s tourism industry will redeem itself after a turbulent start to the year.

With the devastating Sichuan earthquake and riots in Tibet, followed by a widely criticized Olympic Games, China will focus on building its tourism number starting at Europe’s World Travel Mart where the 4th ChinaContact forum will be held.

All sectors from the tourism industry will gather to generate discussion and debate about the future growth of China’s tourism industry and its business opportunities.

Outbound tourism in China has grown 12 percent over the past 8 years and continues to look promising since non-Chinese companies have been given permission by the Chinese government to apply for an in-bound tourism licence.

In terms of inbound tourism, China is predicted to be the largest tourism destination before 2020, according to the UN World Tourism Organization.

The WTM-ChinaContact forum will promote lesser known destinations such as parts of the Great Wall which have not been restored, which will ooze authenticity to tourists. The challenges of this though will be controlling the flow of tourists as masses of visitors would deteriorate the Wall.

Ooze authenticity? There is something complicated at work in this bizarre little phrase.

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