The European Travel Commission (ETC) and the China Tourism Academy (CTA) signed the agreement for the development of promotional activities for the 2018 EU-China Year of Tourism.
The signing ceremony took place on February 27th in Beijing. The event was attended by Prof. Dai Bin, President of CTA; Eric Philippart, Special Counselor for the project; Jacopo Sertoli, CEO at Welcome Chinese; Eduardo Santander, Executive Director at ETC; Tom Jenkins, Executive Director at ETOA.
If Europe loses competitiveness, inbound tourism from China represents a key strategic asset. In 2016, approximately 11 million Chinese – less than 1% of the population! – visited Europe. China is the country that spends the most on international trips, with the annual average expenditure overseas exceeding $200 billion.
Through the promotional plan, Europe aims to reposition itself, in order to become the most attractive outbound destination for Mandarin-speaking travelers.
The training of tourism businesses in European countries is critical along this process. The European Travel Commission selected Select Holding’s Welcome Chinese as the exclusive partner for the development of the institutional and organizational activities.
Chinese unique habits and culture greatly influence the decision making process of traveling: main obstacles are the language barriers, the limitations to pay electronically, the feeling of being unprotected, the “foreign” habits in general. Welcome Chinese deals with these issues, transferring key skills to operators, answering the question: “What are the expectations of the new Chinese tourist”.
In preparation of the 2018 EU-China Year of Tourism, a series of initiatives are set to be unveiled. Educational courses for the benefit of the hospitality industry, for instance, will feed into meetings for the implementation of memorandum of understanding with the Chinese operators during the ITB Shanghai travel fair in May 2017.
The Europe-China program will focus on this specific demand and on the behavior patterns of Chinese travelers. It will be up to this project to ensure the growth of tourists’ flows – outlining new opportunities and destinations – while making sure that the reception of Chinese visitors exceed their expectations.
The EU-China Year of Tourism opening ceremony will take place in Venice, Italy, in January 2018.