Overseas des­ti­na­tions cater to Chi­nese tourists

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE / TRAVEL - By XIN­HUA in Shang­hai

Ibiza, an is­land off the east coast of Spain, wel­comed 150 Chi­nese tourists ear­lier this year, a rare sight for lo­cals. En­cour­aged by their ar­rival, Glo­ria Cor­ral Joven, head of the lo­cal tourism bureau, led a team to Shang­hai in mid-Novem­ber to pro­mote Ibiza as a desti­na­tion for Chi­nese tourists.

“We are build­ing a Chi­nese web­site, which will be open to the pub­lic early next year,” Joven says.

Ibiza was one of 18 ex­hibitors from Spain, an emerg­ing desti­na­tion for Chi­nese tourists, at the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Tourism Fair, which has just ended.

The fair at­tracted more than 2,500 ex­hibitors from 106 coun­tries and re­gions, and is one of the largest tourist events hosted in Asia.

“China is a very im­por­tant mar­ket for Spain,” says Rafael Chamorro, an of­fi­cial from the Spain Na­tional Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tourism. “Our re­search shows that young Chi­nese peo­ple pre­fer cus­tom­ized, per­son­al­ized travel routes, andwe are de­sign­ing such pack­ages to cater to their needs.”

Not only fledg­ling mar­kets like Spain, but also des­ti­na­tions such as New York are work­ing hard to at­tract Chi­nese tourists.

“See Your City”, a cam­paign launched at the fair by NYC & Com­pany, New York City’s of­fi­cial mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, en­cour­ages visi­tors to visit scenic spots such as the Statue of Lib­erty and Fifth Av­enue to cre­ate their own mag­i­cal mo­ments in the city.

The num­ber of Chi­nese visi­tors to New York more than trip led be­tween 2010 and 2015, but the city is now hop­ing to draw even more Chi­nese visi­tors.

“China has be­come the sec­ond-largest overseas mar­ket for New York tourism. And we hope to at­tract more Chi­nese by part­ner­ing with Shang­hai as we cel­e­brate the China-US Tourism Year this year,” says Fred Dixon, head of NYC & Com­pany.

About 128 mil­lion Chi­nese flocked overseas last year, al­most 10 times the fig­ure in 2001, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Wuhan branch of the China Tourism Academy.

The re­port showed that the Chi­nese spent $292.2 bil­lion overseas, about 23.2 per­cent of the world’s out­bound con­sump­tion in 2015.

This makes China a huge chunk of the global tourist pie.

Also, un­like ear­lier when go­ing abroad was sim­ply am­at­ter of col­lect­ing post­cards from around the world, Chi­nese trav­el­ers are now pick­ier when it comes to trav­el­ing and want more au­then­tic ex­pe­ri­ences.

More mean­ing­ful en­coun­ters with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties are now more pop­u­lar with young peo­ple, as well as des­ti­na­tions with long his­to­ries. And this is why Ibiza is at­trac­tive to Chi­nese tourists.

Four of Ibiza’s his­tor­i­cal sites have UN­ESCO World Her­itage sta­tus, Joven says, adding that she be­lieves that this will at­tract more Chi­nese tourists.

Mean­while, bet­ter ser­vices are also be­ing of­fered to at­tract Chi­nese.

A re­port from Ctrip, a ma­jor travel-ser­vice provider, says that the rise in the dis­pos­able in­comes of mid­dle-class fam­i­lies in­creased air-travel ca­pac­ity and the loos­en­ing of visa re­quire­ments has boosted out­bound tourism.

Safety, ser­vice and price are the three is­sues Chi­nese tourists care about most, there­port says.

“Lan­guage is the big­gest ob­sta­cle for Chi­nese vis­it­ing Spain, so we are work­ing with China’s Ten­cent at this year’s fair to de­velop a trans­la­tion app,” Chamorro says.

To sat­isfy di­ver­si­fied travel needs, pack­ages tai­lor-made for Chi­nese trav­el­ers were of­fered at the fair.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Ibiza Old Town, also known as Eivissa Dalt Vila, is a UN­ESCO World Her­itage site in Ibiza, Spain.

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