Friday, January 19, 2018 was inaugurated in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, the Year of Tourism EU-China (ECTY). The launch follows the announcement by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in July 2016. The initiative offers a unique opportunity to increase the number of visits, promote sustainable tourism, and stimulate investment opportunities for Europe and China and support ongoing negotiations on EU-China visa facilitation and air connectivity.
The year was opened by the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the Spokesman for the Presidency of the European Parliament, the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism representing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union , Nikolina Angelkova, CPPCC National Committee Vice President, Qi Xuchun and vice president of China's National Tourism Administration, Du Jiang. The inaugural events were attended by our General Manager Margherita Barberis and the head of the Rome office, Andrea Canapa, together with our Operations Manager, Marco Bettin, as Vice-President of EUCBA (Eu- China Business Association).
The Year of Tourism EU-China will develop in a series of marketing campaigns financed by public-private partnerships, company management and business-to-business meetings for tourism operators financed by the COSME program. As for the EU, the goal is to bring about an annual increase of 10% of Chinese visitors, who represent at least one billion euro a year for the EU tourism industry, and an estimate of 200 partnership agreements between EU and Chinese companies. The ECTY is a concrete manifestation of EU cultural diplomacy within the framework of the EU-China strategic partnership. The initiative is also in line with the EU strategy on China adopted in 2016. It is a way to develop a better understanding between European and Chinese citizens, contributing to the "EU-China High People-People Dialogue" and to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. The opening ceremony was followed by the first summit on EU-China tourism businesses.
Italy-China tourist cooperation agreement signed
With the aim of promoting exchanges and collaboration between Italy and China in tourism, to develop sustainable tourism and global destinations and taking into account the 13th Chinese Five Year Plan (2016-2020) and the Strategic Plan for the Italian Tourism (2017-2022), the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism and the National Tourism Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNTA) have identified a series of lines of cooperation that have been formalized in a special protocol, signed in Venice by Undersecretary of State Hon. Dorina Bianchi and Jiang Du, Vice-Chairman of China National Tourism Administration.
This protocol was born on the basis of the consensus reached for the deepening of cooperation in the tourism sector during the meeting on 19 July 2016 between Dario Franceschini and Jinzao Li, President of the National Administration of Chinese Tourism.
The lines identified relate mainly to five points:
enhancement in the respective countries of tourist destinations alternative to traditional circuits, with a view to promoting sustainable tourism, with particular attention to the villages and UNESCO sites;
encourage the development of common strategies for tourism and cultural promotion, along the lines identified by the Italy-China Cultural Forum;
encourage the development of joint initiatives to enhance the western region of the Maritime Silk Road, with Venice at the center;
to facilitate the mutual exchange of data on tourism flows;
promote the improvement of specific reception standards aimed at facilitating the visit to China of Italian tourists and in Italy by Chinese tourists.
Palumbo: Chinese tourism attracts with a digital revolution and with food
To conquer the Chinese tourist market - we are talking about 129 million travelers in the world, 12 in Europe and 1.5 in Italy and therefore a challenge that can not be lost at European or Italian level - it takes a real "revolution". The ideas for achieving this were presented by Francesco Palumbo, Director General of Tourism of MiBACT, during the inauguration of the 2018 Year of Europe-China Tourism in Venice. The strong growth of Chinese presences in the Belpaese gives hope for Italian tourism and the future prospects are even brighter (in fact, an average growth of 3% is expected worldwide).
"Digital - emphasized Palumbo - is not just having wi-fi in cities and hotels, it means organizing the digital offer not only for the computer but for telephone devices before, after and during the journey. It should be rethought not only the promotion in China but also organized to I manage the offer. In fact, we can not only provide traditional contents, but we need to be able to develop ideas that come from tourists, according to a much more relational and much more dynamic exchange. We have a lot to work on and we will do it, certainly in collaboration with the regions and private operators, because tourism is a sector where the raw material is public - monuments, landscape and coasts - but the service is developed by private individuals. It is, perhaps, the only sector of the economy where public-private collaboration is fundamental "." We think - he continued - also the fact that the Chinese pay only with digital. We in Italy still discuss on credit card yes, no credit card and they already pay everything with the cellphone. Considering that many also come to us for shopping, it is absolutely essential. The Chinese public consists of a lot of young people who have a different idea of travel than the traditional one; who also pay trips to older families, who are much more attentive to tourist experiences and want to understand how you live in Italy, not only see our monuments. "And in the year dedicated to Italian food Palumbo recalls that:" Chinese cuisine it is much closer to ours than we can believe. Not for nothing are two of the most important cuisines in the world. My feeling - he concludes - is that so far we have only touched upon the Chinese world but instead it is an audience that in the next 4-5 years will increase a lot. So it is important to prepare well, probably also with a part of the Strategic Plan dedicated exclusively to this. "The Eusair International Conference (January 20) As part of the Venice events related to the initiative, an international conference was held on January 20th" The Maritime Western Silk Road: analyzing opportunities and impact on the EUSAIR Macroregional Strategy "organized by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in the Italian Presidency of EUSAIR (until June 2018), attended by the head of our Rome office, Andrea Canapa, as moderator of a panel. The aim of the meeting was to propose a comparison on the definition of an integrated strategy for the development and promotion of the Adriatic-Ionian Region along the Maritime Silk Road.
Photo credit: ** Tania ** Venice via photopin (license)