The Chinese tourist hot water revolution

Bearing backpacks loaded with thermoses, sipping their steaming-hot refreshments with satisfaction, Chinese tourists’ unquenchable thirst for hot water, though odd for many Westerners, is having a huge impact on destinations worldwide, causing a “hot water revolution” in the global tourism industry.

In snow-crested Scandinavia, where chugging ice water is a long-standing habit, several hot water dispensers are being installed in Helsinki Airport to cater to Chinese travelers’ thirst for the throat-scalding beverage.

“We have long traditions in providing services for Chinese, but we want to develop them even further in order to welcome new passengers and make the current ones even happier,” Katja Siberg, SVP Marketing and Communications at Finavia, told People’s Daily Online, who added that the idea of serving hot water was proposed by her Finnish colleagues after they visited airports in China.

Helsinki Airport is not the only transportation hub that attempts to capture the hearts of Chinese tourists by providing them with hot water, and some of its counterparts have pushed the “hot water revolution” even further. In March, an intelligent hot water installation was set up in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where USB heating vacuum cups designed by KLM were distributed to Chinese tourists as Spring Festival gifts.

Here is the full story.


So that's how democracy dies... drowned in hot water. I hope the mess of pottage is tasty.

Brazilians are bowing so deeply before the Chinese that Brazilians are hitting their (botoxed) foreheads on the ground: "Brazil Adapts to Try to Attract More Chinese Tourists: ...In Brazil, many Chinese tourists miss something basic: hot water supply, a key service for the Chinese habit of drinking tea." Nuke 'em both and their water will be hot for a good long time.

Brazilian foreheads are not botoxed. My forehead has deep wrinkles.
The article just says that the Chinese miss hotwater and internet in Brazil. Private-owned hotels may effect some cosmetic changes. Yet as the aicle makes clear few Chinese come to Brazil.

It is different from bending over backwards to make public spaces more Chinese-friendly as some spineless countries do. Maybe should be more careful in your conclusions.

It's only because Brazilians are incompetent that they're finding it more difficult to accommodate the Chinese, but the point of the article is that they're trying, especially because Brazilians are desperate for anyone to visit their poor, filthy, corrupt, crime-ridden country.

Not with hot water at airports! It ia ridiculous! Hotels already are capable of supplýing hot water, they have kitchens. Not airports!

TR was boasting the other day that the Brazilians have tanks on the streets to control crime, so they have that going for them.

Tanks, not hot water!

Drinking hot water is a good way to keep core temperature up, which paired with good sleep habits is a sure way to avoid colds and flus. Can anyone explain why Chinese tourists like to drink hot water? It sounds interesting.

Huh? The human body is a good way to keep core temperature up... at 98.6 where it is closely regulated. Drinking hot liquids is a good way to get sweaty.

They drink a lot of hot water because they love throat cancer.

Hot water causes throat cancer??? Asking for a friend.

There is evidence for that, yes. Supported by serious medical organizations (WHO)

For the reference, "Carcinogenicity of drinking coffee, mate, and very hot beverages" is a recent research on the subject.

Chinese tourists like to drink hot water due to the historical poor water quality in China. A massive effort was made to ensure people in China boiled water to avoid water borne illnesses, which turned into a cultural custom of preferring hot water, even in areas where the water has become safer over time.

Even Steve Sailer wouldn't say something like that.

Part of his schtick is absurd, over the top hatred for “Red China”.

Brazil is one big open sewer:

"Untreated sewage flows into coastal waters, particularly around Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the two largest cities in the country. Beaches are coated in trash, sand is reduced to a greasy sludge and the water is black and noxious.
In the weeks approaching the 2016 Games, the United Nations advised athletes to spend as little time in the water as possible, avoid swallowing water, cover cuts with waterproof bandages and to shower as soon as possible after exposure.
...Foreigners are not the only ones wary of the water in Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay. Locals know to not even dip their toes in, aware that they will likely get a disease from the sickening waters."

Yeah, I remember how everyone was to die from poisoning during the Olympic Games... America's racism gets worse and worse.

TS - yes, I did language study in southeast China in the late 80’s. A thermos of boiled water was delivered to each dorm room every day. Boiled water was the only water considered safe for consumption.

The tourist books about China always mention their constant use of hot water for drinking. Hotel rooms will have an electric kettle (although so does every hotel or B&B room that I've ever seen in New Zealand and Victoria, British Columba).

So I was a bit surprised when I was in Shanghai several years ago that hot water dispensers were not quite as ubiquitous as I'd been led to believe, especially on college campuses and in one hotel that I stayed at (not a particularly Westernized one). And this article claims that young people in China are leaning more toward cold water than hot water, so much so that when a Chinese rock star was photographed with a thermos backstage it provoked an online debate about whether he was making drinking hot water ... cool again.

All hotels used to have a boiler on each floor and thermoses in every room. Furthermore I recall in the 90s many Chinese had an aversion to chilled drinks.

Most of the recent online articles talk about the alleged health benefits of drinking hot water in the context of traditional Chinese medicine. But for years the story that I kept reading was that Chinese workers building the railroads in the USA were healthier and more productive than workers from other countries because they drank hot tea. Which meant that they boiled or at least heated their water before drinking it, and had lower rates of dysentery, cholera, and any number of other water-borne illnesses. Workers from the US or other western countries were either drinking contaminated water, or whisky and hard cider which had their own productivity-reducing effects.

But maybe that turns out to have been an urban legend?

What is surely not an urban legend is there are a lot of places in the world (including China except for some of its major cities) where if you know what's good for you, you do not drink the local water. Unless it's been boiled.

I have no idea about the relative health of workers on railways -- but I expect there is a strong connection between tea-drinking and hygene. Basically if you are in a culture where water needs to be boiled anyway, then it is not much of a pain to chuck in some leaves for flavour.

I come from Sri Lanka, which is also a country with high quality tea and low quality public utilities. Plain-old boiled water is popular there too. And tastes the same as that expensive Chinese "white" tea.

Ashley Judd will also be pleased. (She only drinks warm/hot water.)

Strike One against the idea hot water is good for you .....

if u dip a bland tasting leaf in it, you can call it tea

Filter hot water through ground organic material and Pruitt will call it pure water by EPA standards, while Starbucks will sell it for $5.

Personally, I've never understood the appeal of hot tea, but this doesn't seem too far off from that habit.

What do economists call the phenomenon of a high-speed communication device, a USB cable, devolving into a universal power supply for purposes as low-tech as heating water?

When they say backwards compatible, they mean it.

USB was first and foremost a power supply standard with medium speed serial comm. High speed was handled by FireWire. The former out of the workstation HID engineering that wasn't Apple. The latter out of IBM, high end storage, and Apple for volume products.

USB was deployed faster by the same people doing Ethernet chipsets with cheap licensing. FireWire was slow to deploy, costly, hard to license.

Once customers of chips and connectors allocated real estate, they preferred it match FireWire.

USB can't match FireWire as of circa 2000, but SATA piggybacked on USB infrastructure to almost match speed, coming out of the non-IBM storage engineering.

I know 10W was the minimum for power to devices pretty quickly in the standards draft. That was about three decades ago.

"In snow-crested Scandinavia, where chugging ice water is a long-standing habit, several hot water dispensers are being installed in Helsinki Airport to cater to Chinese travelers’ thirst for the throat-scalding beverage."

If the person installing the machines are not Chinese themselves is the a form of cultural appropriation? Simple question for the SJWs in the crowd.

Yes, the way Judas appropriated Jesus!

Finland is Nordic. It is not Scandinavia. Helsinki is what? 1000 km away from snow crested peaks ... which are in Norway.

Good point. and to elaborate, both Minnesota and Finland are known for lakes, not summits:

Although the highest point in Norway is not very impressive, in Colorado, one can park a car a mile higher than the highest point of Norway.

Thanks. Good to know, especially since I like mountains but am much closer to Colorado mountains than any of those Norwegian knolls!

Some people wondered about the Chicom obsession with hot water, get the story strait from the mouth of the party: is the party's version of the Atlantic, pretending to be reasonable and open minded, like the "conservative columnists" of NYT (David Broder?), and Brooks and Shields pretend they have alternate viewpoints:

Indeed. That sixthone link was featured on this blog just a few months ago:

Which makes me wonder: why do the authors of both these articles use words like "throat-scaldingly" and "lip-blisteringly"? Is that a true picture of reality or because journalists would rather create unhealthy fears to sell their articles?

I suppose it simply sounds boring, to say "hot water". One descriptive adjective and one noun doesn't cut it in cyberspace.

On other news about Chinese and hot water:

The plot thickens: there is an official denial, claiming hot water kettles were not intentionally removed from Chinese tourist's rooms to prevent them from eating hot noodles in the room for every meal, and robbing the restaurants of their rightful revenue.

Yes, that story was posted here 5 years back

Style follows function

Maybe the Chinese tourists are merely thrifty, and are stealthily inserting their own tea, brought from China, into the hot water. Of course, bringing one's own tea would be frowned upon by most westerners, but the Chinese per captia income is still quite low, and the Chinese might not want to openly do things that would display relative poverty. So, just let white people think you're really into hot water, and when they are not looking, make tea.

Hazel, you totally missed it, and i've been a fan of your comments before.

Boo. What did I miss? I'm still giggling slightly at the idea of Chinese tourists surrepticiously stashing teabags inside their coats, and slipping off to brew it shamefully in the lavatory.

You are trying to explain an entire phenomenon based on a merely-plausible hypothesis informed by stereotypes.

And it turns out that you are wrong: others on this thread have linked to articles that show an obsession with hot water, strong beliefs on its healthiness, dating to far before there were nearly as many Chinese tourists ( ).

I see this problem a lot with economists (don't know if you are one): try to explain away something based on "plausibly right"-sounding simple-minded arguments, and ignore the possibility that more info may be available contradicting their views.

Sorry. My comment was in jest. I have a kind of oblique sense of humor that sometimes is lost on people.

You boil the water before you drink it. In this way, enlightenent intelligence tells you, more of a happy drink, chances are

and if that's the style? more happy people who aren't shting there guts out.

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one of my 1950 korean war history books has a story about hot water. some u.s. soldiers were captured and not immediately executed as was typical. a korean or chinese guard bought them hot water. soldiers used the quantity of water to wash their faces and hands. when the guard saw that is was not used for refreshment he was outraged.

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