The art of attracting Chinese tourists. POT at IBTM China

In the last week of August, POT’s International Office in Beijing took part in a panel discussion staged during the Chinese edition of IBTM, the number one event for the MICE industry.

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Polish delegates and representatives of other international destinations discussed the impact of China’s economic condition on the growth of tourism and shared experiences in building national strategies that would answer the Chinese market’s growing demand for tailor-made trips.

Last year in China marked a departure from the traditional model of group travel and significantly increased interest shown in individual travels. More and more tourists appreciate the opportunity to explore a given country in depth rather than superficially visit as many destinations as possible within one trip. Customers expect travel agencies to come up with concepts making it possible to adjust the agenda to their preferences and needs. In addition, they place considerable emphasis on travels packed with interactive highlights that allow to discover the genuine ambience of a given place, its culture and everyday life. All types of local festivals are particularly in demand along with shows of traditional dancing combined with lessons of basic steps, regional craft workshops or simply home cooking together with local residents.  

According to a China Travel Academy report compiled in cooperation with HCG Travel Group, the first half of 2019 recorded the number of foreign trips growing by 14% in comparison with the same period in the year before. Among the 81.29 million trips, as many as 3 million were headed for Europe, making it the second most popular direction for Chinese travellers (other Asian destinations were ranked first with a 82% share of the Chinese market). Language barrier, cultural differences and visa formalities prevented the growth of individual tourism from being as evident in Europe, where group travels continue to account for approx. 70% of all trips. Nevertheless, instead of standard agendas and traditional travel agencies, the Chinese visitors now prefer customised trips involving small groups and making it possible to match the itinerary to their interests.

To meet the expectations of Chinese tourists and travel bureaus, our Beijing-based International Office is now working on developing themed tour programmes, localizing practical information about regional highlights, and publishing articles showcasing Poland. We are introducing Chinese tour operators to the impressively diverse tourist offer of our country and keep working on launching an ever-wider range of products, not limited to Poland’s best-known cities.

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