- Posted by Daniel Meesak
- On 21st September 2015
- china, communism, cotri, destination, outbound, russia, tourism
Designing your travel products in a way that attracts Chinese tourists is perhaps the most crucial challenge for people within the travel industry, and some formulas are more likely succeed than others.
One example that has proven successful is the Russian government and local travel agencies joint initiative to promote “red tourism” in Russia, a tour along a “red route” that showcases historical sites in Russia with connections to the history and development of communism. Some of the main sights along the route include Vladimir Lenin’s former home, the red square in Moscow, and other spots with historical significance.
According to local tour companies, red tourism has been particularly effective in attracting elderly Chinese tourists, a group that is normally less inclined to go on trips abroad. Historically, Soviet culture was promoted by the Chinese government, and many seniors in China feels a connection to the Soviet Union as a result – thus sparking interest in visiting sites important in the history of the Soviet Union. One Moscow-based tour guide describes many of the tour groups he guides as primarily composed of elderly Chinese born in the 1940s and 1950s.
Overall Chinese outbound tourism numbers to Russia has sharply increased lately, with the Russian Federal State Statistics Service quoting 204,400 Chinese visitors during the first half of 2015, representing a 30% compared to the same period in 2014. Russian travel agencies also say they have seen a dramatic increase in Chinese tourists this year, with some claiming that the number has tripled in 2015.
Other factors and initiatives have also contributed to the growth of Chinese outbound tourism to Russia, including the favorable currency exchange rate following the devaluation of the Russian ruble, visa-free entry for tour groups, and the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The birthplace of Mao Zedong, Hunan province, and the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin, Ulyanovsk Region have also entered a partnership to mutually promote tourism and economic cooperation.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, established in 2004 and founded by its director Prof Dr Wolfgang Georg Arlt, is the world's leading independent research institute for information, training, quality assessment, research, consulting relating to the Chinese outbound tourism market.