As part of the ongoing 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, the European Travel Commission (ETC) is closely monitoring the travel trends of Chinese tourists in the hope of maximising China’s potential as an incoming source market.
Utilising air reservation data from ForwardKeys, the ETC found that travel from China to Europe is on the increase. The first quarter of 2018 saw a 9.5-per-cent rise in the number of Chinese arrivals to the continent compared with Q1 last year, and forward bookings for the second quarter are, as it currently stands, up by 7.9 per cent compared with last year. For the rest of the world, Q1 arrivals were at 6.9 per cent and Q2 forward bookings are currently at 6.2 per cent, showing that Europe is increasing its overall market share.
The top European destinations for Chinese tourists are Germany, up by 7.9 per cent over 2017, and France, up by 11.4 per cent. Turkey, Ukraine and Hungary have also shown solid growth. Bookings to Russia over the period of the World Cup finals are also noticeably higher than last year – this week, bookings are an impressive 173-per-cent up.
“We firmly believe that monitoring Chinese air travel trends will help the European tourism industry better understand Chinese visitors and enable it to offer them the best experiences,” said Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the ETC. “Doing so will reinforce ETC’s and the European Commission’s efforts to secure Europe’s position as the [top] tourism destination worldwide.”