It's Official: Chinese Tourists Are Number One

A UN agency reports that outbound travel spending jumped a whopping 40 percent last year, putting the Chinese far ahead of both Germans and Americans.

What's the Latest Development?

The United Nations World Tourism Organization recently reported on its Web site that China has become the top source of outbound tourism spending, blowing past Germany (the former #1) and the United States (the former #2). Thanks largely to fewer travel restrictions and increased income, 83 million Chinese traveled outside of China in 2012, up from 10 million a decade ago. Their spending totaled $102 billion, a 40 percent leap from 2011 figures. Comparatively, tourism spending by Germans and Americans only jumped six percent to approximately $84 billion.

What's the Big Idea?

Naturally, a wide range of businesses are making adjustments in response to China's burgeoning travel market. Because shopping is a popular tourist goal  -- taxes make luxury goods more expensive at home -- retail establishments big and small are tailoring their services. For example, a southern California mall has "started adding payment services and Mandarin-speaking concierges so that Chinese travelers can pay with their country’s credit cards and get advice from personal stylists in their own language." Also, American Express recently partnered with a Chinese bank to provide special electronic traveler's checks.

Photo Credit:

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
Keep reading Show less