Chinese Tourism and Barcelona: Two Perspectives

Assistents Congrs ICT2019

From 30 September to 02 October, the School of Tourism and Hotel Management hosted the International Conference on Tourism and Hospitality between China and Spain - ICT2019, an event that brought together senior researchers from around the world and young doctoral students from within the field of tourism and the hotel industry in China and Spain.


This is the second time that Professor Jinbo Jiang, Vice-Dean of the School of Economics and Commerce at the South China University of Technology, has participated as a speaker at the International Conference on Tourism and Hospitality between China and Spain (ICT), held this year celebrated at the School of Tourism and Hotel Management, with an inaugural session by Montserrat Balagueró, the UAB Foundation’s director of teaching services; Gemma Cànoves, Professor of Geografia at the UAB and co-organiser of ICT2019; Yuhua Luo, lecturer at the UIB and promotor of the first international conference; and Octavi Bono, the General Director of Tourism at the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Professor Jinbo Jiang during his presentation to ICT2019

For almost 10 years, ICT has been bringing together researchers and specialists from the field of tourism and the hotel industry in relation to Spain and China; in this regard, Professor Jiang considers that this is one of the most appropriate arenas in which to get to know “the latest trends in the development of tourism in both countries”.

On the first day, Professor Jiang gave a paper to the conference a paper on time-based distribution and developments in the capacity for tourism innovation in distinct provinces within China. Despite certain periods of stagnation, Jiang’s study reveals an average annual growth in capacity for tourism innovation of 3% in the 31 Chinese provinces analysed over the last 20 years. According to Jiang, this growth has been produced through factors such as political stability and the vast tourist resources available to China.

During the break, Professor Jiang drew particular attention to the presence of PhD students from all over the world at the conference, not only from Spain and China, but also from other countries in Asia and Europe. The fact of holding the conference in Barcelona—in his view—is an added value: “Barcelona is a very popular tourist destination that we have had the chance to know through a tour. It is an Olympic city and of great cultural importance”. The Chinese touch to the programme of activities included a showcooking of Chinese gastronomy in the Tourism School’s Demonstration Room.

Participants in the International Conference during the showcooking

The First Doctoral Student at the School of Tourism

Ruizhe Fang, the first student to take the Doctorate in Tourism offered by the School of Tourism and Hotel Management, also participated in the conference.

Fang explained the line of research that he is carrying out in this doctoral study into the motivations to travel to Barcelona and the perception that Chinese tourists have of the city as a tourist destination. “I have been able to show some interesting results, such as Chinese tourists wanting to experience local life and to visit architectural monuments in order to understand the history and culture here”.

For Ruizhe Fang, this first conference has proved to be a “very interesting bridge to connect China with Spain and all things encompassed in tourism, which is a very interdisciplinary study area. It has been a good way to hear other voices and to generate new ideas based on the issues that are being addressed in other universities and places in the world”.

Next year, the conference will be held in Shanghai, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of its inauguration.

Ruizhe Fang, doctoral student at the School of Tourism.


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