By Charly Solomon, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017

During my time in China, I noticed that there was a lot of smog throughout the cities that I visited, specifically Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. I asked my tour guide the reason for the highly concentrated smog and she said it was because of the coal burned in order to create energy and heat, as well as the industrial community for factory work throughout the country.

I find this to be a disadvantage for tourism in China. The smog in China has affected the citizens and their breathing, due to the high air pollution. The majority of people that I passed on the streets were wearing masks, and those that were not were smoking cigarettes. I feel that I inhaled a lot of second-hand smoke throughout my six days in China and although I wish I had a mask to prevent my lungs from weakening, I had lots of difficulty finding one until the end of my time in China. As a result of the intense air pollution, this may create a decrease of travelers coming to China. 

Although I knew about the air pollution, I wanted to come to China because I wanted to visit one of the wonders of the world, The Great Wall of China. Even though many people understand the negative impacts of the pollution, they still come to see this wonder. Many of these people are considered to be the Psychocentrics according to Plog’s model. They want to visit a familiar destination, stay for a few days and then leave, rather than seeing the country and exploring.. Many of the countries around the world consider China as a good  location for their factories because of the cheap price for goods manufactured and shipped to their respective countries. However as a result, we are impacting the health of Chinese people and tourists and are missing out on a huge sector of tourism in one of the largest countries in the world. As a citizen of this earth, I believe it is our moral responsibility to reduce the factories in China to better the people who live and travel in this country.