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Published on : Wednesday, June 28, 2017
ChinaEU organized a seminar with key members of the European Parliament in preparation of the EU-China Tourism Year which will be help next year in 2018. Jane Jie Sun, CEO of China’s leading online travel agent Ctrip, and Matthew Brennan, expert on China’s digital marketing and WeChat were the key speakers at the occasion.
The participants mulled over how digital tools and in particular online booking platforms and social media can boost the number of Chinese tourists in Europe.
China, currently is the world’s largest travel market in terms of expenditure and the second largest in terms of outbound travel. with the help of the European destinations, they can improve their position even more. According to the China Tourism Academy, the official tourism research institute of China National Tourism Administration, in 2016 the number of outbound tourism in China reached 122 million people, and Chinese visitors spent €100 billion (about 760 billion RMB) in overseas destinations. Statistics show that Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and the Maldives are the top five destinations where Chinese tourists spent the most money. The first EU country, Italy, comes only ninth.
Jane Jie Sun spoke about how EU destinations be made more attractive for Chinese tourists. More flexibility for travel visas and investment in ports and connections – for instance, adding direct flights between cities, offering charter flights and special trains for the convenience of travelers; improved port and harbor clearance infrastructure; additional cross-border travel cooperation zones and international travel ports; improved service quality of scenery spots – were some of the measures she suggested.
Eric Philippart, responsible of the EU-China Year of Tourism at the directorate general Grow from the European Commission, acknowledged that visa is an important obstacle to the tourism cooperation among countries. Granting Chinese and European citizens with a ten-year visa to visit the other region would create an important incentive for travelers to return for a second trip, taking advantage of the policy facilitation.
Matthew Brennan, co-founder of China Channel, explained the potentialities of digital marketing in China stating that one needs to understand the digital ecosystem of China.
Jacopo Sertoli, CEO of Select Holding, added that the European hotel sector can play on this trend. In 2010, he launched “Select Italy & Travel”, which rapidly became one of the leading players in China’s high-end outbound travel market.
The standard guarantees Chinese tourists to feel comfortable, travel easily and feel welcomed. It helps hotels/resorts, museums, amusement parks and all sightseeing and tourist destinations increase their reach in the Chinese outbound tourism market.