Europe looks for new ways of tap­ping Chi­nese tourists

Is­rael in­tro­duces a 10-year mul­ti­ple-en­try visa for Chi­nese, re­plac­ing a 30-day sin­gle-en­try visa

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG MINGJIE in Lon­don wang­mingjie@ mail.chi­nadai­lyuk.com

See­ing the size and the ev­er­chang­ing na­ture of the out­bound tourism in­dus­try in China, Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions are look­ing at new ways to tap into the Chi­nese mar­ket.

The Aus­trian city of Inns­bruck — lo­cated in a broad valley be­tween high moun­tains, half­way be­tween Mu­nich, Ger­many, and Verona, Italy — launched a busi­ness-to-con­sumer cam­paign last year in a bid to at­tract more Chi­nese vis­i­tors.

As in­creas­ing numbers of Chi­nese trav­el­ers source their travel in­for­ma­tion through word-of-mouth and word-of -mouse, Inns­bruck’s tourism board in­vited some key Chi­nese in­flu­encers to the city in a bid to boost lo­cal tourism, said Peter Unsinn, the board’s mar­ket­ing man­ager.

“They were post­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia plat­forms such as Weibo and WeChat, and record­ing videos about the city in their own ways, which are now used for mar­ket­ing within China,” he said.

The city also ap­proached some Chi­nese ac­tors, ac­tresses and mod­els, who have sev­eral mil­lion fol­low­ers, who also posted their ex­pe­ri­ences of Inns­bruck on­line.

“Through this cam­paign, we

Sites in Is­rael have be­gun to make signs and of­fer in­for­ma­tion in Chi­nese, while ho­tels are be­gin­ning to of­fer food to suit Chi­nese guests.”

have re­ceived more than 50 mil­lion views about our city, its his­tory and the ac­tiv­i­ties we of­fer,” Unsinn said.

While Euro­pean na­tions are mak­ing se­ri­ous ef­forts to snatch a piece of the Chi­nese out­bound tourism pie, coun­tries like Is­rael have also taken steps to in­crease the num­ber of Chi­nese vis­i­tors to the coun­try.

Ear­lier this year, the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a 10-year mul­ti­ple-en­try visa for Chi­nese, re­plac­ing the pre­vi­ous 30-day sin­gle-en­try visa.

“This not only al­lows tourists to visit for longer and mul- tiple times, but also al­lows them to go on ex­ten­sions to Jor­dan and Egypt, and re­turn to Is­rael with­out prob­lems,” said Ben Julius, founder of Tourist Is­rael, adding that the gov­ern­ment also can­celed fees re­quired for groups from China vis­it­ing Is­rael in or­der to stream­line and lower the costs of vis­it­ing.

On a non­govern­men­tal level, new di­rect flights were launched by Hainan Air­lines from Bei­jing to Tel Aviv this year to com­pete with El Al, an Is­raeli air­line that was pre­vi­ously the only air­line op­erat- ing that route. Cathay Pa­cific is ex­pected to start fly­ing from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv next year, of­fer­ing greater con­nec­tion op­tions from China.

“Many sites in Is­rael have be­gun to make signs and of­fer in­for­ma­tion in Chi­nese, while ho­tels are be­gin­ning to of­fer food to suit Chi­nese guests and rooms with small mod­i­fi­ca­tions to ac­com­mo­date the mar­ket,” Julius said.

Ac­cord­ing to James Ken­nell, prin­ci­pal lec­turer of tourism at the Univer­sity of Green­wich, the key for des­ti­na­tions and tourism busi­nesses as the Chi­nese out­bound tourism mar­ket ma­tures, is to de­velop bet­ter knowl­edge of the Chi­nese tourism mar­ket through re­search and part­ner­ships.

“The des­ti­na­tions that are bet­ter able to meet the needs of a so­phis­ti­cated and in­creas­ingly di­verse Chi­nese mar­ket will ben­e­fit from ac­cess to the huge and grow­ing mar­ket,” he added.

Ben Julius, founder of Tourist Is­rael

ZHOU HONGJING / FOR CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese tourists have fun with a photo at Stone­henge, a pre­his­toric site in Wilt­shire, Eng­land, in July last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.