【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. cream of the crop [kreem uhv th uh krop] (idiom) – referring to the best among all other options
Example: She considers Japan as the cream of the crop of her round-the-world trip.
2. urban [UR-buh n] (adj.) – referring to areas or locations that are found inside a city or a town
Example: The air in rural areas is much cleaner than the air in urban areas.
3. infrastructure [IN-fruh-struhk-cher] (n.) – buildings, services, and systems that are made available to the public in urban areas
Example: A city cannot function properly without good infrastructure.
4. expenditure [ik-SPEN-di-cher] (n.) – the act of spending money or a certain fund
Example: The family’s holiday expenditure was too costly.
5. astounding [uh-STOUN-ding] (adj.) – causing surprise or shock
Example: An astounding number of people visited the shrine even though it’s a weekday.
Read the text below.
In April, China Tourism Academy (CTA) declared New Zealand as the most preferred holiday tourist spot among Chinese citizens.
According to CTA’s list, New Zealand was voted the cream of the crop among 22 other countries for the first quarter of 2014. The list is formed based on data gathered from nationwide surveys which determined the satisfaction that Chinese tourists experienced when they visited a country. Included in the list’s criteria are public service, environmental condition, and safety.
According to 4,119 survey respondents, New Zealand stands out because it preserves excellent environmental conditions within and beyond its urban areas. Aside from the extraordinary geography, clean air, and good infrastructure, tourists also praised the green policies and hygiene maintenance of the country. New Zealand also provides the best locations for outdoor trips — the most ideal activity to many of the Chinese visitors.
As a result, statistics from the New Zealand Tourism Board show a 16-percent rise in the number of Chinese tourists who visited the country in 2013. Also, the overall expenditures of Chinese vacationers reached 723 million NZD (around 625 million USD), increasing by seven percent.
This is the first time that New Zealand came to dominate the list, replacing Canada, which landed on third place. Second to New Zealand is the United States, making an astounding leap from last quarter’s thirteenth position.
Japan, however, dropped from seventh place to twelfth place in the recent rankings. Although Japan is known for its topnotch cleanliness and facilities, the cost of living has become too high and the lack of Chinese information signs was found to be inconvenient for tourists, said the CTA.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Among the reasons why New Zealand stands out as a holiday hotspot, which do you think is the most essential? Please explain your answer.
· What do you think needs to be improved in your own country to make it into the top of the list? Kindly discuss.
· Why do you think tourism is important to a country?
· How can tourism be improved? Please explain your answer.