Chinese Buddha Tourism
Tallest Statue of Buddha
After 5-year construction, the world’s tallest statue of Buddha, Donglin Buddha will be finished soon this month. It cost investers 1 billion RMB(about 157 million USD) to construct this 48-meter high statue.
Buddha for China Tourists
In fact, during its construction, Giant Buddha statues sprang up everywhere in China like mushrooms after rain.
In Sanya, Hainan, a 108 meter high statue of Kwan-yin Buddha was constructed in 2005. The Statue of Liberty is 15 meters lower than it. 800 million RMB was spent on it.
In Dunhua, Jinlin, whose GDP is about 9.5 billion RMB, finished the world’s tallest sitting Buddha statue in 2011 which cost about 380 million RMB.
With a GDP of 4.6 billion RMB, Lushan, Henan put a quarter of its GDP to build the world’s largest Buddha statue. In 2008, this 208 meters high Buddha was finished.
China tourists like Buddha
Those people who construct those statue are nuts, aren’t they? Of course not. On the contrary, they are the biggest winner of the boom because they can get much more than they spend. For example, after the construction of the statue, revenue of Lushan from China tourists raises from 425 million in 2007 to about 1.6 billion in 2011.
How can it increase like this? The reason for the booming Buddha tourism market is the craze of Chinese for the protection of God. From students to old people, everybody has one reason to do thurification in temple. Many Chyina tourists are parents who go to temple to light a joss stick for their children’s good results in exam; businessmen go to temple pray Buddha’s protection for their business; pregnant women go to temple for the safety of their babies and so on.
And they also want to choose the best place. Where is the best place? Most people believe that prayers before big Buddha statue or in temples with history works more because they are closer to heaven or real buddha. As a result, huge profit goes to these temples. For example, Shaolin temple yields 150 million RMB only from its revenue from ticket sales in 2011.
overseas market needs developing
Chinese prayers now are trying to please more gods to get more blessings. In Burma, Thailand, India, there are more and more Chinese tourists going there for pleasing the gods there. On the contrary, very few Chinese tourists will consider western countries. Maybe they are afraid Jesus can not speak Chinese. But one day, if they know discover some place where praying may work, nobody can stop Chinese from praying there, no matter the blessing is from god or even some fairy tales. However, this kind of information can not be found in any introduction of western tourist destinations so far.
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