buddha tourism

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.

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Chinese Buddha Tourism

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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.

donglin buddha

Buddha for China Tourists

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In fact, during its construction, Giant Buddha statues sprang up everywhere in China like mushrooms after rain.

sanya buddha statue
sanya buddha statue

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.

dunhua buddha statue
dunhua buddha statue

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.

lushan buddha statue
lushan buddha statue

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

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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

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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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5 Comments

  1. “On the contrary, very few Chinese tourists will consider western countries. Maybe they are afraid Jesus can not speak Chinese.”

    Or yet, maybe because so many of them do not like patronizing Western people and are rightly put off by the only-my-sweetheart-saves Jesusist nonsense of some “Christians”. Maybe as well because quite a many Buddhists believe that the Buddha has all possible Saviours implicit in His perfected self, which obviates any need to worship Jesus or even to bother to know that Christmas, not long ago in the West, used to have something to do with the Nazarene sage.

    “The reason for the booming Buddha tourism market is the craze of Chinese for the protection of God.”

    That reads like either cynical slackness or genuine ignorance of the Buddha’s Dharma, since in Buddhism the Absolute Reality reached with Nirvana is by no means reduced to a personification as a “God”. In fact, in Buddhism Gods are personifications of natural, immanent realities, lower than Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. In its beginnigs in China, Buddhism had trumped Nestorian Christianity (which also reached China from the Silk Route), possibly also because the transcendence beyond a personified absolute God (the Shangdi of a Chinese doctrine called Mohism) put the Dharma closer to native sophisticated Taoist and Confucian philosophies.

    Buddha bless you_/\_

    1. Diego, thank you for your deep deep understanding in China Religion. I hope my countrymen can understand Buddhism as you do so that they will not simply regard Buddha as a god who can help them make more money or help their children get better result in exams. Unfortunately, that’s what those people are thinking.

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