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5 Oct, 2016

Europe Plans Major Trade Initiative to Attract Chinese Tourists

London, 3 October 2016, (ETOA Press Release) – At a Conference to be held at the Barbican on November 3rd, ETC and ETOA will unveil their plans for the World Bridge Tourism project sponsored by the European Commission.

The project will involve hosting 100 European tourism suppliers in May of next year, who will meet with a comparable number of Chinese outbound Operators. This networking workshop will take place alongside ITB China in Shanghai. This will be followed by a similar event at the ETOA Global European Marketplace in November 2017, where 100 Chinese Outbound Operators will gather to talk to a nominated group of European suppliers.

These B2B events will be supported by an extensive programme of research and webinars aimed at increasing the understanding of the needs of Chinese visitors within the European Tourism Community.

World Bridge Tourism will be the curtain raiser for a major initiative that will take place the following year. This coincides with the EU–China Year of Tourism 2018. This will give an unprecedented level of attention to the growing importance of China as an origin market, and the changing preferences and behaviour patterns of Chinese visitors.

At the conference on November 3rd, after an introduction from the European Commission and the European Parliament, there will be a presentation of original research from ETC and ETOA. This will be followed by a  discussion of the evolving nature of the Chinese market by Professor Wolfgang Arlt of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute. An explanation of how best to prepare for Chinese visitors will be presented by Jacopo Sertoli of Welcome China. The event will be finished with an outline of the forthcoming Chinese Workshops by Eduardo Santander of ETC and Tom Jenkins of ETOA.

Eduardo Santander said “China is already an important market: more than 12 million visitors were recorded arriving in European destinations. This is set to grow by 50% by 2020. That 2018 has been declared the EU-China Year of Tourism will place this growth, and the opportunities that it represents, firmly in the centre of attention. We are thrilled to be working with ETOA on launching this initiative.

Tom Jenkins said “It is particularly fitting that the Commission is taking a lead in this area as Chinese visitors view Europe as a unitary destination. All markets are important; new markets are particularly welcome. China is undoubtedly exciting: its growth and spend is transforming a number of destinations in Europe. It will be up to the project to see if there are any difficulties with this phenomenon, and to find ways of ensuring that the impetus to travel is robust and well-informed, and that the reception of visitors exceeds their expectations. China has to be prepared for Europe, and Europe must be prepared for China.“