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Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

Trends in travel

Trends in travel destinations for the Chinese are also quickly changing. While the majority of Chinese travellers tend to move around Asia, others are increasingly choosing Europe as their destination. Among long-haul destinations, high-profile Western European countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands are seeing modest annual growth. Nevertheless, Eastern, Central and Northern European destinations as diverse as Finland, Poland and Serbia are continuing to enjoy dramatic growth rates, benefitting from the perception that they are safer, and from their reputation as more “unconventional” destinations in Europe. The travel and tourism sector is also having a ripple effect at national level. As outbound travel experience grows in China, greater awareness in travel preferences from different parts of the country are starting to emerge. Often, these are influenced by a number of factors, ranging from geographical location, to convenient flight connections. First and second tier city residents — who currently make up the majority of Chinese outbound travellers — are generally moving away from more popular destinations in favour of more exotic, less-visited locations. Irma Orlandi Centre will offer several workshops across the EU helping local companies understand Chinese tourists — namely through their traveling and spending trends — in order to target their services accordingly, and benefit from this phenomenon in a win-win business context. 96 At the same time, residents from third and fourth tier cities are starting to take their first trips abroad. Like the 60% of Chinese outbound tourists, they typically travel in groups. This trend is rapidly increasing also due to the fast development of international flights and visa centres in third and fourth tier cities as well. As a result of China’s booming outbound tourism, an important question for European counterparts is how to best benefit from this trend. This is especially true for SMEs who observe spending tendencies of Chinese outbound travellers, and are looking to find a healthy balance from which both parties can bear fruit. The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year offers a unique opportunity for companies who operate in the sector to deepen their understanding of EU-China tourism relations, and benefit from it. The year will be filled with events and activities taking place in China and across the EU, furthering the collaboration of the many stakeholders and key actors involved. One such player, is the EU SME Centre, an initiative of the European Commission aiming to help EU SMEs to expand their China-business. Together with the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, the EU SME This article was written by Alexander Alles, Senior Project Officer at EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. At EUROCHAMBRES, Alexander Alles is responsible for the outreach strategy of the EU SME Centre across the 28 Member States of the EU. Before joining EUROCHAMBRES, he was based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and was working for the Honorary Consulate General of Nepal and the German-Asian Business Circle, promoting business opportunities between Germany and Asia. Editorial contributions from Irma Orlandi — PR, Communications and Events specialist based in Barcelona. Irma Orlandi currently works as Events and Partnerships Manager at the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce (ASCAME), actively representing the organization and securing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders. Prior to ASCAME, Irma Orlandi was Outreach Project Officer at the Association of European Chambers of Commerce (EUROCHAMBRES), actively promoting EU-Internationalization projects supporting SMEs enter foreign markets. Born in the US, and grown up between Singapore, China, Italy and Belgium, Irma breaths multi-culturalism and thrives on diversity.

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