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Cross-Border Tourism on the Russian–Chinese Border in 2014–2019: Customization of the Service Sectors of Border Cities for Chinese Tourists

Published inRegional research of Russia, vol. 11, no. 3, p. 349-360
Publication date2021-10-04
First online date2021-10-04
Abstract

The article examines cross-border tourism and changes in the tourism industry that occurred at the Russian–Chinese borderland since 2014. Using two city pairs—Blagoveshchensk/Heihe and Khabarovsk/Fuyuan—as case studies, the article reveals that owing to the altered structure of tourist flows after the 2014 devaluation of the ruble, Russian and Chinese border cities have customized their services for Chinese tourists. Fieldwork data and data collected from the media analysis allowed mapping the service sector openness of border cities and demonstrating that central districts of border cities concentrate the majority of businesses catering to clients from the neighboring state. This finding confirms the role of central districts of border cities as thermometers of cross-border dynamics as they react first to fluctuations in exchange rates and tourist flows. Based on an assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cross-border flows and the tourism industry at the Russian–Chinese borderland, it was concluded that an earlier reorientation towards domestic tourists (after 2014) allowed Heihe and Fuyuan to be more prepared for the next external shock. The tourism industry in Blagoveshchensk and Khabarovsk suffered significant losses and found itself in a situation of high uncertainty, in which it was impossible to predict the timing of resumed arrivals of Chinese tourists.

eng
Keywords
  • Cross-border tourism
  • Russian–Chinese border
  • Customization of the service sector
  • Russian Far East
  • Northeast China
  • Border cities
  • Devaluation of the ruble
  • Chinese tourists
Citation (ISO format)
MIKHAILOVA, Ekaterina. Cross-Border Tourism on the Russian–Chinese Border in 2014–2019: Customization of the Service Sectors of Border Cities for Chinese Tourists. In: Regional research of Russia, 2021, vol. 11, n° 3, p. 349–360. doi: 10.1134/S2079970521030096
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accessLevelPublic
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ISSN of the journal2079-9705
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