2018: A big year for Chinese Tourism Years
Welcome to the first edition of COTRI Weekly in the New Year 2018! The start of the new year saw not only snow in Florida, but also the good news that for the first time in aviation history not one person died in an accident on a commercial passenger jet throughout the whole of the year 2017.
2018 is also the Tourism Year for China and three partners: Canada, the European Union and Turkey.
The 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism adopted a Yin-Yang sign with a panda and a polar bear as its symbol and is trying not only to attract new target groups like families and MICE travellers to Canada, but is also aiming at bringing more Canadian tourists to China, including many Overseas Chinese living in Canada. 2017 Canada welcomed about 700,000 Chinese arrivals, profiting from travellers who preferred Canada to the USA as their travel destination in North America.
The 2018 Turkey Tourism Year in China is mostly about getting back more Chinese visitors to Turkey. In 2015 more than 300,000 arrivals were counted, but in 2016 the number almost halved to 170,000. Last year looked better again with 240,000 arrivals, but, given the many attractions and the close economic relations between the two countries, there is still room to improve. Besides leisure, business travel is one of the focus topics for the events planned during the year.
The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY2018) is something of a homunculus. At the end of the EU-China Summit in July 2016, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission and Premier Li Keqiang announced, much to everyone’s surprise, plans to stage a tourism year in 2018. From the beginning it was clear that the EU was exclusively interested in attracting more Chinese tourists to Europe, not the least to smaller destinations. CNTA China National Tourism Administration however is more interested in creating traffic the other way, resulting in quite limited visible signs of enthusiasm from the Chinese side for the ECTY2018. As often has been the case with other tourism years before, a lack of funding and the absence of an experienced organisation committee has resulted in a glitzy opening in Venice, which will take place on January 19th, followed by not much in particular. The Austrian Winter Sports Days in Beijing in February or the Santa Claus roadshow of the Finnish Tourism Board in November/December would have happened anyway, similar to the unveiling of a statue of Karl Marx in Trier, a gift of the Chinese people, on the occasion of his 200th anniversary in May. In March, however, a number of buildings in Europe will be illuminated in red as a symbol of the friendship with China.
Hopefully for all our readers wherever in the world they are, 2018 will be a true China Tourism Year!
Your COTRI Team