Europe is taking a number of measures to make travel more easy for Chinese tourists during the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, the European Travel Commission said in Shanghai.
Such measures include Chinese language material at venues such as airports, tourist information centers, hotels and shopping malls, and staff who can speak Mandarin at these spots, said Eduardo Santander, executive director of the commission, yesterday.
"We are also facilitating the acceptance of Union Pay payments in Europe," said Santander. Better visa policies toward China and more direct flights linking Chinese and European cities are also on the agenda, he said.
The commission has also teamed up with Welcome Chinese Certification to create better experiences for Chinese tourists. Welcome Chinese is the official standard certification released by China's Tourism Academy, which guarantees Chinese tourists feel comfortable, travel easily and feel welcome at overseas destinations.
"A main objective of the commission this year is to improve connectivity between China and Europe," said Santander. "We invite Chinese to enjoy another kind of Europe," he continues, which is less crowded, more peaceful, laid-back, and off the beaten track.
He made the remarks during ITB China 2018, a three-day travel trade fair focusing on China's outbound tourism market which kicked off at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center yesterday.
During the event, the commission and Welcome Chinese Certification announced that UnionPay International, Ctrip, Tuniu, Tencent, travel review website Qyer.com, Fliggy and Tongcheng had become official partners of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year.
China is the world's top outbound tourism market with 147 million outbound travelers last year, spending US$220 billion.
"The trend is that some emerging destinations in central and east Europe are gaining popularity among Chinese because of the Belt and Road construction, more direct flights and relaxed visa policies," Jiang Yiyi, head of International Tourism Research of China Tourism Academy, said yesterday.