Abstract：With the rapid development of Chinese tourism industry, more and more foreign tourists have come to China. Although not all foreign tourists are from English-speaking countries, English, as a common language in today's world, has become the most important medium of communication when international tourist activities are involved. As a result, tourism English appears as ESP English, and becomes popular and necessary in Chinese tourism. Many Chinese students majoring in tourism learn tourism English as a course. A large number of employees in tourism industry start to use English in their work. In this case, this essay firstly aims at exposing the language functions of tourism English, and analyzes its distinctive features in terms of linguistics and culture, which identifies tourism English as a special branch of English. The detailed study on tourism English itself will be helpful for the Chinese students of tourism English and the staff in the field to use it well and deal with tourism English translation.
Tourism has received an international reputation as a never-declining industry in the history of world economy. In China, tourism has a history of almost 55 years since the first travel agency founded in November 1949. But during the following 30 years, Chinese tourism was advancing slowly due to political reasons. According to the data reported by National Tourism Administration Bureau of China, only 1.809 million people including 0.23 million foreigners visited China in 1978. However, in 1998, China received 63.4784 million international visitors, including 7.1077 million foreign tourists, which is 35 times that in 1978.
China has become one of the most popular tourist destinations and one of the leading countries of world tourism industry.
Due to the development of tourism in China, tourism English becomes more and more important nowadays in China. As a result, tourism English appears as a term in many researches and course books with the meaning of English language that is used for tourism. Since China has been recognized as an approved destination by many countries officially, more and more foreign tourists have been flowing into China for a visit, and tourism English has become necessary and booming as a result，from airport to hotel and restaurant, from travel to tourist spot. English is used whenever a foreign tourist is received. We suppose that China’s tourism would not have advanced smoothly without the development of tourism English.
Therefore, some researches about tourism English should be done. But in the author’s eyes, distinctive features of tourism English are to be explored firstly. Only if some distinctive features of tourism English are made clear, some work on translation or practice about tourism English should be done in order to push forward the Chinese tourism. That’s why the author of the paper chooses “On Distinctive features of tourism English” as its title.
Before this paper was started, lots of materials were checked and read. Findings were made that there have been a few researches about the distinctive features of tourism English from the point of linguistics. Therefore, more researches should still be done on the distinctive features of tourism English from the point of linguistics so that the researches could promote the development of tourism English and also could push forward the development of tourism, economy and the culture of China. That is the purpose of this paper. The topic will be analyzed from three aspects as follows---the scope of the use of tourism English, the features of language function of tourism English, and the linguistic features of tourism Engli