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Europe launches Chinese language tourism website

01 December 2011, 22:36 CET
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(BEIJING) - The European Travel Commission (ETC) on Thursday launched a Chinese language version of its tourism website in a bid to attract more wealthy Chinese holidaymakers to the crisis-hit continent.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe has ballooned in the past decade but the vast majority of outbound trips from China are still to Asian destinations, the Brussels-based organisation told a news conference.

"It is supposed to be one of the major outbound markets over the next decade ... and Europe wants to be part of that," ETC President Petra Hedorfer said at the launch of visiteurope.com.cn.

The total number of outbound trips from China hit 15.7 million in 2010, with 24 percent, or 3.8 million, going to European countries, Hedorfer said.

Asia accounted for 67 percent of China's outbound trips and the Americas just eight percent.

Hedorfer said she hopes the website, which provides extensive information on the cuisine, history and culture of 35 European countries, will help boost the number of outbound trips from China to Europe to eight million by 2030.

More and more Chinese are travelling overseas for their holidays, reflecting the increasing wealth among the country's fast-expanding middle class who have benefited from rapid economic growth and a booming property market.

The European Commission backed the initiative and its director of tourism, Pedro Ortun, said the continent needed to do more work on improving its Chinese language skills as well as knowledge of Chinese habits in order to attract more travellers.

Europe recorded 476 million international tourism arrivals in 2010, up 3.2 percent on the previous year, with the vast majority coming from other European countries.

European Travel Commission


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