Tag Archives: Panama City

Extending China’s One Belt One Road Initiative to Latin America

China’s One Belt One Road Initiative connects Asia to Europe. However, visionaries have wondered how to connect China to Latin America as part of this initiative. China-Latin American trade has increased by 1,200% or from $10 to $130 billion between 2000 and 2009.  The challenge is physical. There is a vast Pacific Ocean separating China from Latin America. China has the ability to create islands in record time with the MV Tian Kun Hao. Hawaii has acted as a gateway to Asia for the United States. What about the equivalent of a Chinese Hawaii from a strategic point of view? The author proposes that China will create an island in the Pacific that is more or less equidistant from China and Latin American. This island will act as an extension of the One Belt and One Road Initiative.

Would the island be sovereign Chinese territory? If China builds the island on the high seas beyond any national jurisdiction, 200 plus nautical miles from a nation, then China may construct artificial islands that according to Article 87 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea treaty (UNCLOS) would be sovereign Chinese territory! If China was building a military base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean then the US would be opposed to such a project regardless of legality. However, the island proposed in this essay would have peaceful goals!

The island could be named after Zheng He the admiral who might have arrived in the Americas before Columbus. The Island could also be called “Lucky Eight Island” for reasons that will become apparent later in this essay. I think the Zheng He name could be the more official formal name for Chinese audiences and Lucky Eight could be the more vernacular informal name for none Chinese audiences. This island will have both commercial and educational goals.

Commercial Goals

A traveler traveling from Beijing to Mexico City wastes a lot of time using hub airports that do not support the goal of connecting these two cities. The traveler has to go to hub airports in the US such as Dallas, Vancouver, Chicago, Los Angeles and even Amsterdam that are out of the way. The island will act as a hub airport connecting Chinese cities to Latin American cities. The distance from Beijing to Mexico City is 12,450 km.  The Boeing 777, the most common airplane in the world, has a range of 9,704 to 15,844 km. An island more or less 6,000 km from Beijing and Mexico City would allow a Boeing 777 to reach just about any city in China or Latin American from that island. A Boeing 777 has a speed of 950 km/h. In theory with a one hour layover, a traveler could travel from Beijing to Mexico City in 14 hours via the island versus the usual 18-20 plus hours the traveler now has to travel.

The Chinese cities the island airport hub serves might include Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The following Latin American cities are economically important to China. Bogotá, Lima, Mexico City, Panama City and São Paulo. There are students from five Central American countries that could easily go to the island from Mexico City or Panama City.   The diplomatically important countries are Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The traveler to cities in China other than Beijing or Shanghai can arrive at other Chinese cities with only one layover rather than two or even three layovers as is currently the case. As a specialized hub airport, layover times should be minimal but longer layovers are inevitable. The airport should be designed with pod style accommodations as a design priority rather than a design afterthought.

Japanese tourists go to Guam to buy US goods! Could the Chinese island be a place where Latin Americans go to buy Chinese goods? Conversely, could the island be a place where Chinese go to buy Latin American goods? Business to customer sales are part of any airport. However, could business to business also be done on the island?

The island will have advanced communication infrastructure that connects China with Latin America either via satellite and/or an underwater fiber optic cable connection. The island could house a submarine branching unit connecting Chinese cities to Latin American cities. Chile and China are already working on an underwater fiber optic cable connection.

Educational Goals

The island will provide a place in which Chinese and Latin Americans can learn together and from each other. The island will house a trilingual university. The best and the brightest Chinese learn Spanish. The best and the brightest Latin Americans learn Chinese. English is used as a transitional language in the first two years but eventually the students move to all Chinese classes for the Latin Americans and all Spanish classes for the Chinese. Trilingual graduates will be in demand in any number of fields. However, the university could focus on creating top of the line aviation management, environmental studies, logistics, telecommunications, translation studies and tourism-hospitality departments. The aviation management students can do internships in the airport. The logistics students will act as leaders that have the skills to increase trade between China and Latin America. The tourism students will acts as leaders that can increase tourism between China and Latin America.

The foreign language department will focus on Chinese, English and Spanish. There will be a further emphasis on translations studies and computer-assisted translation in particular. The wide spread use of applications like Google Translate show that ultimately computers will play a larger and larger role in translations tasks. The department may also offer classes in Portuguese and Japanese for those students interested in becoming quadrilingual.

The advanced communications infrastructure capability on the island could be used to promote distance learning between China and Latin America. This distance learning project includes regular and guest professors from China that are on the island teaching students throughout Latin America and vice versa. An advanced communication system will also allow Chinese and Latin American researchers to communicate with each other more effectively. The university can act as a convenient physical space where researchers can finalize research face to face that has already been done largely in cyberspace. The university should be able to host international conferences involving the Americas and China. The university hotel can be used by university guests. The tourism and hospitality students will do internships in the university hotel.

A university affiliated online educational TV station based on the island will take advantage of the communications infrastructure. Telecommunications majors will do internships in the television station. The TV station will send Chinese television shows, with educational and/or cultural merit to appropriate Latin American audiences including students and academics in Latin America. The students in the translation studies program will translate the Chinese shows into Spanish for Latin American consumption. Latin American television with educational and/or cultural merit will in turn be translated into Chinese and aimed at appropriate audiences in China. The translations studies students gain valuable real life translation experience via this project. Large audiences in China and Latin America gain a broader international outlook from this programming.

Later, original programming made by students under the direction of professors at the island university could be part of the project. The student made programming could focus on Chinese-Latin American connections. A series of modules designed to teach Spanish speakers Chinese could be one of the projects of this television station. Also, a series of modules designed to teach Chinese speakers Spanish could be a project of this television station.

Culture shock is always a problem when students study abroad but distance acts as a remedy of sorts for the students in the college. The location of the island means Chinese students are more or less seven hours from home in China. Obviously the Latin American students are also more or less seven hours from home. This means students can more conveniently go home and recharge than if home was 14 to 20 hours away! The communications infrastructure could be used to allow the students easy two way video communication with friends and family back home. The university should obviously have a rich extracurricular environment. Busy students have less time to be homesick!

Student electives and student clubs can act as extensions of the cross-cultural focus of the university. Classes in Chinese cuisine and Latin American cuisine would be logical electives. Chifa is a fusion of Chinese Cantonese cuisine and Peruvian cuisine and could be the signature cuisine of the university. A cooking club could be an outgrowth of these classes. The faculty sponsor should probably be a member of the tourism and hospitality department and the students of this department should take a lead role in the cooking club. Latin American students teach Chinese member Latin American dishes and vice versa. The creation of original fusion dishes that combine Chinese and Latin American elements should be encouraged.

China is of course famous for wushu and classes in wushu make sense in this university. Latin America does have some very effective martial arts such as the Brazilian martial art capoeira, Colombian grima, and juego del garrote.  The author of this paper does have some martial arts experience in both Chinese and Latin American martial arts. I think Chinese and Latin American martial arts would complement each other. Latin American martial arts are more modern than wushu and reflect modern realities such as the use of modern weapons like machetes for offense and specialized moves that act as a defense against firearms. The use of hand stand techniques in capoeira seem fantastical until you realize that shooting a moving leg is a difficult task compared to shooting someone in the chest. A leg wound is also less likely to lead to death than a chest wound. In contrast, Chinese martial arts use more ancient and even exotic weapons and generally provide no defense against firearms but have no equal in terms of variety of weapons and variety of techniques. A martial arts club might be a good place for students to explore a fusion of these martial traditions. Surfing and scuba diving could both be classes and clubs that do not serve a cross cultural function but take advantage of the island location. The elective classes act as introductions to an area of interest while the clubs with the appropriate faculty sponsorship allow the student to gain additional expertise in their interest area.

As a central Pacific Ocean outpost of China, the island could make soft power inroads among Pacific island populations. The children of local Pacific island elites could receive substantial scholarships to attend the university or even have full-tuition scholarships depending on circumstances. There will be a need for custodial labor and clerical workers on the island. Most Pacific islands suffer youth unemployment that is estimated at being around 23 percent! The educational television station could broadcast TV shows over the air that are of value to Pacific island populations.  China probably has a special interest in better diplomatic relations with the following Pacific islands: Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Description of the Island

In an earlier megaproject proposal, I suggested there are several advantages to a donut shaped island. Belgium has suggested a donut shaped island can store energy generated by wind power as described in Wired. The center of the donut is a fresh water lake. This provides a source of drinking water, fresh water fish and a shark free area to practice water sports such as sailing and scuba diving.

If you have two donut shaped islands side by side and touching then you get a figure eight shaped island! Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture! One donut shaped island is used for the airport. The airport island is bigger because airports use up a lot more space than universities. Plus, there is always the possibility that the island grows from being a hub airport connecting China and Latin America to becoming a hub airport that connects Asia and the Americas as a whole! The other donut shaped island is used for the university.

The B2B center, B2C mall and government services center sit where the two islands meet. Perhaps the building housing both the B2C mall, B2B center and government service center are in an eight story building.  The top floor of the building allows a view of both lakes as well as the Pacific Ocean and houses a 5 star fusion seafood restaurant as well as many other restaurants. The B2C mall occupies the lower floors and the B2B center occupies the top floors. Can a floor of the mall be designed so that virtual reality entertainment is more immersive than in a less modern mall.

The area where the two islands meet provides natural shelter for ships and yachts. My own experience with harbors is that big cruise ships and relatively smaller ships such as yachts should be kept separate to some extent but both types of ships need access to similar supplies. The cruise ship harbor and the marina for small boats should have equal access to the B2B center/B2C mall. Hopefully the island becomes a trilingual outpost in the Pacific that attracts both cruise ships from Asia and the Americas and smaller boats from neighboring islands. The marina with student interns from the tourism department can offer tours in Spanish/Chinese and/or English of surrounding Pacific islands.

Security at the Eastern B2B center/B2C mall exits can prevent unauthorized personnel from exiting into the university island. In general I would say the university island should be off limits to all but university related personnel. Do you really want random travelers from the airport, harbor and/or marina wandering around the university? The students of course have free access to both islands with their student IDs. There could be a K12 boarding school next to the university and that extra layer of security will make the parents happy. Cameras can be mounted on the outside of the B2B center/B2C mall. The external cameras mean that the airport, harbor, marina and university can be observed to some extent with these cameras.

One floor of the building should be dedicated to government services including city hall type functions, customs, the police station and the coast guard. I would suggest a hardened basement for the government services. Typhoons are common in the Pacific Ocean. The basement facility should be strong enough to survive even a super typhoon. The people of the island need leadership no matter how bad the situation.

Dubai is planning to create an underwater theme park. The airport island could have a similar type of park from an infrastructure point of view but with a different theme! Swimmers and scuba divers can explore Chinese and Latin American man made wonders of the world underwater. The following Chinese wonders of the world could include wonders of the world underwater from China and Latin America. China has several man made wonders that merit inclusion in the underwater theme park including the Terracotta Army, the Hanging Temple, the Great Wall of China, the Leshan Giant Buddha, Shibaozhai, and the Forbidden City. Latin American is more famous for scenic wonders than man made wonders but the two big ones that would look incredible underwater is the Pyramid of the Sun and Machu Picchu.

Another potential tourist attraction could be a recreation of the Glass Beach of Fort Bragg, California but on a much larger scale. Glass is made of silicon just like sand. Glass left on a coast will be pounded by the waves and turned into smooth rounded pieces! I doubt that China needs to bring glass waste all the way from China. I suspect there is plenty of glass waste all over the Pacific that populations will be more than willing to donate to China! The Glass Beach in California was created by accident.

The new Glass Beach could have one beach that is a rainbow of glass but how about having other beaches that use glass sorted by color. The most common colors for sea glass are kelly green, brown, and white (clear) because many bottle are made of these colors. So building three beaches of these common types of glass should be relatively easy. I would call the beach made of brown colored glass the gold beach. I would call the beach made out of the clear glass the crystal beach. Less common types of colored glass are jade, amber (from bottles for whiskey, medicine, spirits, and early bleach bottles), golden amber or amberina (mostly used for spirit bottles), lime green (from soda bottles during the 1960s), forest green, and ice- or soft blue (from soda bottles, medicine bottles, ink bottles, and fruit jars from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, windows, and windshields). The less common types of sea glass could be sold in stores and used in jewelry also sold in stores. There could be a place in the mall were tourists can make their own sea glass jewelry. The pieces of glass in loose form or converted into pieces of jewelry would be a unique souvenir. Below is a picture of the Glass Beach in California.

One lake could have an aquaculture area that farms high value edible Chinese freshwater fish. Another aquaculture area could farm high value edible  Latin American freshwater fish used in cooking. Fish of course is also available from the surrounding Pacific Ocean. The university cooking club and the B2C mall restaurants will have an incredible diversity of fish to use for fusion recipes! Fish produce feces! I don’t want to swim in fish feces or drink fish feces. The second lake is used for water sports and drinking water.

The center of the lake in the university side of the island will have a giant statue of Confucius since Confucius is considered a great teacher. The statue uses Luminor paint. Luminor paint uses electroluminescence technology. Electricity passing through the paint causes the paint to glow like a light bulb. In the day, the statue looks like a giant statue painted gold but at night the activated paint glows! Paint of different metallic hues could be used to give the statue more dimensionality. The center of the lake on the airport side of the island could have a statue of Zheng He since Zheng He is considered a great traveler.

With the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, China has become the global leader in dealing with climate change. The island could be have an environmental center. Since the island is in the Pacific, the Great Pacific garbage patch is one problem the center could tackle. The Ocean Cleanup project is in interesting approach but I am sure Chinese and Latin American researchers can come up with an improved version of this solution. In particular, Marcus Eriksen et al. (2014) have found 92% of plastic pieces in the ocean is smaller than microplastic and cannot be caught by The Ocean Cleanup’s system. College students from all over the world could be awarded internships to act as crews on university ships based on the island that travel to different parts of the Pacific and perhaps all over the world in order to clean up the world’s oceans.

The island could have a casino!  After all the island is shaped like a lucky eight!  The island could even have a five star resort area that allows recreational marijuana usage.  The potential revenue could be huge and that revenue could in turn fund the loftier goals of the university.  A wall could separate the interesting part of the airport island from the rest of the island.

The university offers dual degrees. You get a bachelors from a Chinese university and a Latin American university. The students become trilingual. These are significant academic advantages that other universities around the world cannot offer. Latin American middle class students will probably be happy with the academic advantages. However, students that come from Latin American elites and have the money to study in Western countries and party would be valuable to China but might find the island “boring”.

If the five star resort had a three day minimum occupancy then Latin American students could go to the resort to “blow off steam” during a three day weekend. Marijuana will remain illegal on the airport island and the university island except for the resort area. Marijuana is only legal at the resort and you have to stay at the resort for at least three days or at least you have to pay for three days at the resort. Chinese students with mainland China passports could be barred from going to the resort or maybe not. Overseas Chinese that have passports from other countries other than China can stay at the resort just like Latin American students. Wealthy Overseas Chinese are another group that could be valuable for the projection of Chinese soft power.

The rise of Frankencracy in the US means the US has given up on its traditional leadership role in the Americas. The unilateral attack of NAFTA by the US means the Americas can no longer trust the US as a reliable long term partner in regional development. The rise of Frankencracy also means the demise of a potential tripolar global order. New political structures need to be created for a prosperous global future. China’s One Belt One Road Initiative will bring prosperity to millions in Asia and Europe.  Hopefully this proposal means that Latin American can also benefit from China’s One Belt One Road Initiative

Megaproject Ideas

Airship Powered from Space

Pay for the Thai Canal with an Island Next to Bangkok!

Should Maglevs be Upgraded to Vactrains?

Space-based Solar Power for Defense + Desalination + Energy Independence

My Articles About China and/or Chinese Culture

16 Basic Desires: China versus US

35 Accomplishments of Modern China

36 Stratagems

Acronym for Eight Types of Chinese Regional Cuisine

American versus Chinese Culture

American versus Chinese Culture

Astrology Chinese

Chinese Astrological Analysis of Nations

Chinese Astrology 60 Year Cycle

Chinese Do’s and Don’ts

Chinese Dream and American Reality

Chinese vs. Western Astrology

Confucius in Thailand 2012

Extending China’s One Belt One Road Initiative to Latin America

Table of Chinese Astrology 19th – 21st Century

The 36 Stratagems as Portrayed in Comic Books

Virtual Chinese Reunification Palace

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Am I Kitsune?

Top 100 Cities: Tourist Destination vs. Livability Rank

The following study is an attempt to objectively explore the truism:


“Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there” 


The operational version of this truism would be that tourist cities and livable cities are different cities. The truism has been named the Visit/Live Theory for the purposes of this study.  Two lists that rank cities were compared.  The first list ranks cities according the number of tourists that arrived in a city.


The list and a description of the list can be found at:




The second list ranks cities according to livability.   Mercer Human Resources looked at 39 quality of life issues including political stability, currency-exchange regulations, political and media censorship, school quality, housing and the environment.


The Mercer list and a description of the list can be found at:




Table 1 shows all the cities on both lists in alphabetical order.  In addition, the difference in rank was calculated for each city when this was possible.  If a city was on only one top 100 list then the difference in rank could not be calculated.  The tourist destination study looked at 150 cities, but for the purposes of comparison, only the top 100 tourist destinations were used in this study. Many cities were only on one list and not on the other list.  The number of cities on both lists was counted.  The number of cities only on one list was also counted.  If the number of cities on both lists was greater than the number of cities not on both lists then this would suggest the truism is not true.

Top 100 Cities: Tourist Destination vs. Livability Rank

Table 1: Alphabetical List of All Cities

Cities Country Tourist Rank Livability Rank Rank Difference
1 Abu Dhabi UAE 52 88 36
2 Adelaide Australia NR 30 N/A
3 Agra India 99 NR N/A
4 Amsterdam Netherlands 18 13 5
5 Antwerp Netherlands 90 NR 99
6 Athens Greece NR 78 N/A
7 Atlanta USA NR 66 N/A
8 Auckland New Zealand NR 5 N/A
9 Bahrain Bahrain 12 NR 18
10 Bangkok Thailand 2 NR 90
11 Barcelona Spain 10 41 12
12 Beijing China 22 NR N/A
13 Benidorm Spain 33 NR N/A
14 Berlin Germany 34 16 18
15 Bern Germany NR 9 N/A
16 Birmingham United Kingdom 81 55 26
17 Boston USA 68 36 32
18 Bratislava Slovakia NR 99 N/A
19 Brisbane Australia NR 32 N/A
20 Bruges Belgium 89 NR N/A
21 Brussels Belgium NR 14 N/A
22 Buenos Aires Argentina NR 79 N/A
23 Budapest Hungary 36 74 38
24 Cairo Egypt 45 NR N/A
25 Calgary Canada NR 24 N/A
26 Cancun Mexico 26 NR N/A
27 Cape Town South Africa 57 85 28
28 Chennai India 97 NR N/A
29 Chicago USA 64 44 20
30 Chongquing China 100 NR N/A
31 Cleveland USA NR 59 N/A
32 Copenhagen Sweden 54 11 43
33 Dalian China 87 NR N/A
34 Detroit USA NR 64 N/A
35 Dubai UAE 7 80 73
36 Dublin Ireland 11 27 16
37 Dusseldorf Germany NR 5 N/A
38 Edinburgh United Kingdom 56 NR N/A
39 Florence Italy 46 NR N/A
40 Frankfurt Germany NR 7 N/A
41 Geneva Switzerland 98 2 96
42 Glasgow United Kingdom 82 55 27
43 Granada Spain 95 NR N/A
44 Guangzhou China 32 NR N/A
45 Guilin China 65 NR N/A
46 Hamburg Germany 83 24 59
47 Hangzhou China 49 NR N/A
48 Helsinki Finland 77 30 47
49 Hong Kong China 5 70 65
50 Honolulu USA NR 27 N/A
51 Houston USA NR 68 N/A
52 Istanbul Turkey 16 NR N/A
53 Johannesburg South Africa NR 90 N/A
54 Katsuyama Japan NR 73 N/A
55 Kobe Japan NR 40 N/A
56 Krakow Poland 69 NR N/A
57 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 15 75 60
58 Kunming China 94 NR N/A
59 La Havana Cuba 70 NR N/A
60 Las Vegas USA 48 NR N/A
61 Leipzig Germany NR 67 N/A
62 Lexington USA NR 51 N/A
63 Limassol Cyprus NR NR N/A
64 Lisbon Portugal 47 47 0
65 Liverpool United Kingdom 91 NR N/A
66 Ljubljana Slovenia NR 80 N/A
67 London United Kingdom 1 39 38
68 Los Angeles USA 31 55 24
69 Luxembourg Luxembourg NR 18 N/A
70 Lyon France 84 36 48
71 Macau China 27 NR N/A
72 Madrid Spain 17 42 25
73 Manchester United Kingdom 73 NR N/A
74 Marrakesh Morocco 50 NR N/A
75 Mecca Saudi Arabia 19 NR N/A
76 Melbourne Australia 72 17 55
77 Mexico City Mexico 30 NR N/A
78 Miami USA 39 62 23
79 Milan Italy 42 49 7
80 Minneapolis USA NR 60 N/A
81 Monterrey Mexico NR 94 N/A
82 Montevideo Uruguay NR 76 N/A
83 Montreal Canada 85 22 63
84 Moscow Russia 21 NR N/A
85 Mumbai India 86 NR N/A
86 Munich Germany 40 8 32
87 Nagoya Japan NR 54 N/A
88 Nanjing China 76 NR N/A
89 New Delhi India 92 NR N/A
90 New York City USA 6 48 42
91 Nice France 61 NR N/A
92 Nurnberg Germany NR 23 N/A
93 Oahu/Honolulu USA 44 27 17
94 Omuta Japan NR 69 N/A
95 Orlando USA 38 NR N/A
96 Osaka Japan NR 42 N/A
97 Oslo Norway NR 26 N/A
98 Ottawa Canada NR 18 N/A
99 Panama City Panama NR 92 N/A
100 Papeete French Polynesia NR 97 N/A
101 Paris France 3 33 30
102 Perth Australia NR 21 N/A
103 Pittsburg USA NR 52 N/A
104 Portland USA NR 46 N/A
105 Port Elizabeth South Africa NR 97 N/A
106 Port Louis Mauritius NR 77 N/A
107 Prague Czech Republic 20 72 52
108 Qingdao China 79 NR N/A
109 Riga Latvia NR 92 N/A
110 Rio De Janeiro Brazil 35 NR N/A
111 Rome Italy 8 61 53
113 St. Louis USA NR 64 N/A
114 San Juan Puerto Rico NR 71 N/A
115 Salvador de Bahia Brazil 71 NR N/A
116 Salzburg Austria 74 NR N/A
117 San Diego USA 88 NR N/A
118 San Francisco USA 37 29 8
119 Santiago Chile NR 83 N/A
120 São Paulo Brazil 62 NR N/A
121 Seattle USA NR 49 N/A
122 Seoul South Korea 9 87 78
123 Seville Spain 60 NR N/A
124 Shanghai China 13 100 87
125 Shenzen China 41 NR N/A
126 Singapore Singapore 4 34 N/A
127 St. Petersburg Russia 25 NR N/A
128 Stockholm Sweden 66 20 46
129 Suzhou China 59 NR N/A
130 Sydney Australia 43 9 34
131 Taipei China 24 81 57
132 Tallinn Estonia 67 89 22
133 Tianjin China 75 NR N/A
134 Tokyo Japan 51 35 16
135 Toronto Canada 14 15 1
136 Tsukuba Japan NR 55 N/A
137 Tunis Italy NR 95 N/A
138 Valencia Spain 93 NR N/A
139 Vancouver Canada NR 3 N/A
140 Varadero Cuba 53 NR N/A
141 Venice Italy 28 NR N/A
142 Victoria Seychelles NR 95 N/A
143 Vienna Austria 23 3 20
144 Vilnius Lithuania NR 82 N/A
145 Warsaw Poland 29 85 56
146 Washington DC USA 63 44 19
147 Wellington New Zealand NR 12 N/A
148 Winston Salem USA NR 52 N/A
149 Wuxi China 96 NR N/A
150 Xi’an China 78 NR N/A
151 Xiamen China 80 NR N/A
152 Yokkaichi Japan NR 63 N/A
153 Yokohama Japan NR 38 N/A
154 Zhuhai China 58 NR N/A
155 Zurich Switzerland 55 1 54



NR, no rank, no top 100 rank in this category

N/A, not applicable since the city was on only one of the lists


Table 2 below shows cities that were on both lists ordered from the least difference between ranks to the greatest difference between ranks.



Top 100 Cities: Tourist Destination vs. Livability Rank

Table 2: Comparison of Ranks

Cities Country Tourist Rank Livability Rank Rank Difference
1 Lisbon Portugal 47 47 0
2 Toronto Canada 14 15 1
3 Amsterdam Netherlands 18 13 5
4 Milan Italy 42 49 7
5 San Francisco USA 37 29 8
6 Dublin Ireland 11 27 16
7 Tokyo Japan 51 35 16
8 Oahu/Honolulu USA 44 27 17
9 Berlin Germany 34 16 18
10 Washington DC USA 63 44 19
11 Chicago USA 64 44 20
12 Vienna Austria 23 3 20
13 Tallinn Estonia 67 89 22
14 Miami USA 39 62 23
15 Los Angeles USA 31 55 24
16 Birmingham United Kingdom 81 55 26
17 Glasgow United Kingdom 82 55 27
18 Cape Town South Africa 57 85 28
19 Paris France 3 33 30
20 Boston USA 68 36 32
21 Munich Germany 40 8 32
22 Sydney Australia 43 9 34
23 Abu Dhabi UAE 52 88 36
24 Budapest Hungary 36 74 38
25 London United Kingdom 1 39 38
26 New York City USA 6 48 42
27 Copenhagen Sweden 54 11 43
28 Stockholm Sweden 66 20 46
29 Helsinki Finland 77 30 47
30 Lyon France 84 36 48
31 Prague Czech Republic 20 72 52
32 Rome Italy 8 61 53
33 Melbourne Australia 72 17 55
34 Warsaw Poland 29 85 56
35 Taipei China 24 81 57
36 Hamburg Germany 83 24 59
37 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 15 75 60
38 Montreal Canada 85 22 63
39 Hong Kong China 5 70 65
40 Dubai UAE 7 80 73
41 Seoul South Korea 9 87 78
42 Shanghai China 13 100 87
43 Geneva Switzerland 98 2 96



There were a total of 155 cities on either list.  112 cities were only on one list.  Only 43 cities were on both lists.  Cities that are only on one list outnumber cities on both lists 2.6:1.  Even for cities on both lists, the mean difference between ranks was 37.6 and quite high.  These findings suggest that cities that are visited are not the same cities that are more livable.  The truism that some cities are nice places to visit and different cities are nice places to live in is correct.   Table 2 showed which cities had the least difference between ranks and the greatest difference between ranks.


The city with the least difference in rank was Lisbon.  Lisbon had a rank of 47 on both lists.  Toronto had the second least difference in rank and has the honor of having a relatively high visitor rank (14) and livability rank (15).  Amsterdam showed a similar pattern to Toronto with a visitor rank of 18 and a livability rank of 13.


Geneva had the greatest difference in rank.  Geneva is a great place to live (2) but doesn’t get very many tourists (98) relative to other cities.  Shanghai had the second greatest difference in rank but in the opposite direction as Geneva.  Shanghai is a city that many tourists visit (13) but only ranks 100 in terms of livability.  A practical implication for expats is to be wary of deciding to live in cities you like to visit without taking the Visit/Live Theory into account.

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