EU-China Tourism Year, opportunities and challenges

The opening of the EU-China Tourism Year was held on Palazzo Ducale in Venice (Italy) on last 9th of February.
The Programme is coordinated by the European Travel Commission and provides to increase the tourism business by a coordinated set of initiatives.

The declared objectives are clear and consequent to the EU policies such as the promotion of sustainable tourism and the establishment of a favourable environment to increase investments, especially for SMEs. Visa facilitation was one of the main point of interests; the main objective is making them more convenient and easy to obtain, also by using technologies, in order to increase tourism flows to and from China.

Many actions need to be undertaken, and this is the beginning of a programme that may require mutual knowledge and additional skills to smoothen the relationships between the players.
Moreover, the development of partnerships among enterprises will be a priority, also through the scheduling of business events such as trade shows in China and meetings.
By a joint promotion platform, European stakeholders and tourism destinations have the opportunity to increase their visibility, showcasing their attractions. There’s a sufficient awareness that additional direct flights and more visa facilitations could increase tourism flows.

Twissen attended the opening and registered a moderated enthusiasm by the European stakeholders, but at the same time the awareness that there is a gap to be filled concerning the Chinese market, especially for the language. Chinese players were considered prepared and with clear business plans, guided by a uniform strategy. To maximise the results of this programme, Europe will have to act coordinated and focused.