Lvmama.com, a popular Shanghai-based platform for tourism & leisure, was announced on Saturday as the Official China Travel Partner of FC Internazionale Milano (also known as Inter Milan).
According to the strategic cooperation agreement signed by the two sides, the Chinese online travel agency will work with the club to develop a series of "football-tours" for Chinese fans and tourists, that will include trips to Milan to watch the team play.
Michael Gandler, Chief Revenue Officer for Inter Milan, said that in addition to supporting the development of Lvmama's brand among Inter's passionate Chinese fan base, Lvmama will also provide reciprocal value by bringing long-distance fans a step closer to the club.
"Milan is already a beloved city for Chinese tourists, but by providing access to our matches, facilities and premium experiences, fans from throughout China can have a richer experience with our city," said Gandler.
The sport-tourism industry is one of the fastest growing in China, with a year-on-year growth rate of around 30 percent. Football fans have made large contributions to the industry.
Football matches can indeed help to attract more attention to the hosting country, but more research is needed, said Li Qiuyan, public relations chief of Lvmama.
"Football tourism needs more professional market research, customer-oriented designs and qualified service to become more popular," Li said.
Chinese fans use social-media more than in any other part of the world, making them a very unique part of the fan market, said Gandler. Inter Milan says it will work with other Chinese brands from different industries to showcase football culture to Chinese audiences.