In June we published Tourism in China edited by Chris Ryan and Songshan (Sam) Huang. Here, Sam tells us a bit about what inspired the book and how he came to put the volume together.
The idea of this book was inspired partly by Chris’s first book on China tourism which he co-edited with Prof. Gu Humin from Beijing International Studies University, and partly by my previous work reviewing doctoral dissertations on the subject of tourism in China. While I was reviewing PhD theses recently completed by Chinese scholars I found that lots of them studied the phenomena of China-specific tourism and could complement the tourism literature in English. Around that time, some colleagues posted messages on TRINET noting that there are ‘Hidden Gems’ in non-English tourism literature. They called for some international collaboration to dig the ‘Gems’ out. The posts impressed me and I remembered them when reviewing those PhD dissertations written in Chinese.
Gradually the idea began to crystallise into a book. Both Chris and I had previous collaborations with authors in China and we were both passionate about the new volume. I had the chance to travel to Guangzhou to talk to some prospective contributors and thankfully the trip worked for securing two excellent chapters for the book.
One unique feature of this book is the mix of scholars it represents. It presents both works of those researchers working outside China and those working within China. Authors have different perspectives and research traditions depending on their research development trajectories and mostly importantly, where they work. As noted in our last chapter, there are more ‘issues’ that are not made explicit to understand the difference between the tourism scholarship in and outside China. Nevertheless, it is rather premature to argue that tourism scholarship in China is overall lagging behind that outside China or vice versa. I believe there are pros and cons in both spheres of the tourism scholarship (inside vs outside China). Pros in one sphere could very well complement cons in another if they can be brought forward. As such, we need to create platforms to juxtapose works of authors in China with those outside and glue them together.
I believe that we achieved this with this book. Chris and I not only provide the platform but also made the ‘glue’. Our work was to make the content more comprehensible to readers outside China. If readers find shining thoughts in the chapters, praise should ultimately go to our contributors, as we just polished their ideas. Our contribution is secondary to theirs. I would like to thank both my co-editor Chris Ryan and the 20 chapter contributors for all their work and support to bring this book to the wider world!
For more information on this book click here.