Europe is set for a Significant Rise in Chinese Tourists – Number of Arrivals from China will continue to grow in 2016
- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 13th April 2016
- arrivals, chinese outbound, czech republic, europe, paris, Statistics, tourism
Over the past few years, Europe has represented a major draw for the rapidly growing number of Chinese outbound tourists. The largest visitor source market for many of the continent’s countries, Europe saw 12.5 million tourists arriving from China in 2015, according to the official statistics. The European Travel Commission (ETC) is forecasting a 7.4% increase of Chinese arrival numbers to Europe this year, representing one million more visits than 2015.
In spite of security concerns such as terrorist attacks, Paris remains the dream destination for many Chinese tourists. In order to benefit from the Chinese outbound travel market, the French government has sought to reduce the visa delivery process for Chinese nationals. In 2014, the waiting time was cut from ten days to just 48 hours. In January 2016, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced plans to halve this processing period to just one day.
As well as long-popular Western European destinations such as France, Germany, Switzerland and Britain witnessing growth in numbers of Chinese arrivals, but also many Central and Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Serbia are seeing increases as Chinese tourists look to travel to more ‘novel’ locations.
In 2015, for example, the Czech Republic saw a record of 300,000 Chinese arrivals. In order to facilitate this wave of interest, Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth largest carrier, launched the first Beijing-Prague direct flight last September. Additionally, the Czech government opened more visa application centres in Shanghai and Beijing. It plans to add more visa centres in smaller cities including Hangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu and Kunming. The move to add additional visa-processing facilities in China is also being replicated by a number of other European countries, including: Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Denmark.
Undoubtedly, the Chinese tourists bring economic benefits to the local tourism market. For each destination, hotel, attraction, national park, airline or retailer, the chances to attract Chinese customers will grow in 2016, but so will the competition. The players who better understand market developments and the needs of different segments will be able to gain more satisfied Chinese visitors and reach a profitable business.