تستعد عدد من البلدان الأوربية لاستقبال الزيادة الكبيرة المتوقعة في أعداد السياح الصينيين. واعتبارا من يوم الأربعاء يبدأ العمل باتفاقية تسمح للمجموعات السياحية الصينية بزيارة نحو 29 بلدا .
The opening up of nearly thirty European countries to Chinese tour groups unlocks whole new vistas for the narrow but growing slice of the population with the disposable incomes to take advantage of it. And the Chinese media have been packed with information whetting people's appetites and warning of the possible snags. They've told people they'll have to pay several times more for their can of Coca Cola than in China and they've featured Chinese restaurant managers in Europe reassuring them that they'll be able to find their hometown food.
The country's already seen a boom in cheap travel to South East Asia. It's hard to characterise the cultural effects, although easier to tally the vital economic impact on China's neighbours. Now it'll be the turn of Europeans to come into increasing contact with yet another facet of China's international presence - albeit through the distorting mirror that mass tourism so often seems to provide.