- Posted by Christopher Ledsham
- On 15th June 2016
- government policy, Greece, honeymoon, investment
The president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis has set a target of attracting over one million Chinese tourists to Greece by the year 2021 as a means of boosting the country’s critical tourism sector, which contributes in total over 17% to the national GDP.
The targeted figure far exceeds the 200,000 Chinese tourist visits to Greece the SETE calculates were made in 2015, based upon both direct arrivals, as well as those from other European countries. As has been the case in many similar destinations looking to attract Chinese outbound travellers, Andreadis reiterated the importance of establishing a direct flight connection with China as a crucial means of attracting greater arrival numbers. Currently, Chinese tourists looking to travel to Greece must change flights in transit hubs in the Middle East, Russia or even Western Europe.
Illustrating the suitability of Greece, a fellow “great ancient civilisation”, as a destination for Chinese travellers, Greek Minister for Tourism Elena Kountoura explained that “[the Chinese] prefer to go to the archaeological sites and feel the culture and the power of history of this country. At the same time, they love shopping and good food. We have everything.”
Kountoura also picked up upon the popularity of Greek islands, including Santorini, amongst wealthy Chinese couples looking to get married or enjoy their honeymoon in exotic foreign locations. This trend is also apparent in island destinations such as Fiji, Mauritius and the Maldives, which, notably, also suffer from poor flight connections with China.
This announcement of this tourist development target comes shortly before Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras is will lead a high-level business delegation to China from July 2-6. In Beijing Tsipras is scheduled to meet with President Xi Jingping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang in order to discuss attracting Chinese investment in Greek economic sectors including finance, agriculture and infrastructure, as well as tourism.
Greece’s overtures to the Chinese tourism market reflect those seen in a number of other countries in which tourism makes up a large part of national GDP, such as Thailand and Malaysia. As Chinese outbound tourism continues to grow – and high-spending Chinese travellers continue to seek out destinations beyond the Greater China region – taking steps to draw a great share of the China market is being regarded by many governments as a crucial source of economic opportunity.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of different regions. Important Chinese visitor activities are analysed, and detailed insights are presented.
With COTRI’s insights you can create a successful business strategy with in-depth market insights, comprehensive qualitative analyses, and future prospects. The recently published Spring 2016 Edition of the COTRI Market Report features in-depth analysis of the developing trends in Chinese outbound tourism, supported by a wealth of qualitative and quantitative statistical research.