China enjoys geographic proximity and cultural affinity with ASEAN countries, bearing rich tourism resources, all of which have glorious and splendid civilization and history, diverse and colorful national cultures, and magnificent and beautiful natural scenery. ASEAN countries are exactly the countries where Chinese citizens started going abroad for traveling. Back in the late 1980s, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand had already become the destination countries for outbound tourism of Chinese citizens in groups. In 2005, Laos officially allowed the outbound tourism of Chinese citizens. Since then, the ten ASEAN countries have all opened their doors to Chinese tourists. In 2016, there was a total of 19.8 million Chinese tourists whom went to the ASEAN region for traveling, with a year-on-year growth of 6.4%. At present, China has become the largest tourist generating country to ASEAN countries.
Nowadays, China and ASEAN countries have increasingly improved tourism mechanisms, and have established a multi-level and multi-channel cooperation exchange platform. To benefit from the broad prospects of Sino-ASEAN tourism cooperation, Guilin is accelerating its construction into an international tourism destination. As agreed by the Chinese organizing committee of the 11th China-ASEAN Expo, the China-ASEAN Expo tourism exhibition will be held in Guilin City, Guangxi Autonomous Region every year starting in 2015, thus to vigorously promote construction of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and strengthen the pragmatic international cooperation in regional tourism.
Guilin University of Technology (GUT) is one of the 56 domestic universities that were firstly permitted to formulate and set up the degree of Master of Tourism Administration (MTA) by the Ministry of Education of the PRC in 2010. Specially focusing on the rapid development of the tourism industry in the ASEAN region, GUT’s MTA education for the international students aims at helping ASEAN countries to expand tourism market in China, and cultivating the high-end application-oriented and multi-ability talents for tourism management, whom possess global perspective, cross-culture communication competence, strong strategic thinking ability and innovative spirit.