Silk Road Tourism Conference
Silk Road Tourism Conference
April 24-26, 2018
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel,
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Silk Road Tourism Conference
April 24-26, 2018
Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel, Dubrovnik, Croatia
CHINESE TOURISTS
For the past seven years, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel-and-tourism sector has outperformed the overall economy every year – and nowhere is this revolution more dramatic than in Asia.

Silk Road Tourism Conference Travellers from China, more than ever before, are spreading out across Asia, the Pacific islands, Europe and America. They are out-shopping, out-spending and out-eating every other nation. They are able to fill entire hotels, endless numbers of tour buses and cruise ship, and overwhelm international airports and train stations. And during that process, they send millions of terabytes of pictures, videos, comments and posts, ultimately rising their status by showing fellow countrymen their newest foreign adventure.

In 2017, 130 million Chinese citizens travelled abroad and spent USD 115 billion, according to China Tourism Academy (CTA) and Ctrip Travel Group in their joint report (March, 2018).

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), China already accounts for more than 20% of the money spent by outbound tourists worldwide, and Chinese have barely started – only around 5% of them have passports, and the government is issuing about 10 million new travel documents every year.

As the nation is quickly developing, and average citizens get richer, they travel more than ever. Older generations, without foreign language skills, still come in big groups together with family and friends. However, younger (smartphone-addicted) generations are looking for FIT tours – and are using the internet to plan itineraries, book flights, translate signs, look for restaurants and landmarks, find transportation, post pictures and comments – all via their smartphones.

According to CTA, estimated number of domestic tourist trips in PR China reached 5 billion in 2017, with a 10% increase Y-on-Y, which shows strong need for traveling amongst Chinese. Top periods for traveling are: Chinese New Year, National Days (first week in October) and summer season.

For the first trip outside Mainland China, Chinese travellers usually choose Hong Kong and Macau, and then neighbouring countries that are well prepared and adapted to Chinese tourists: Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam. These countries all receive between 3 and 10 million Chinese tourists per year, with Thailand being most popular in 2017 with 9.8 million.

Next in line are developed countries: the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, the UK, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, UAE. These countries annually have between 1 and 3 million tourist arrivals from China.

In the last several years the most significant increase in tourist arrivals from China have countries from east and southeast Europe, Africa, Latin America and island countries in south Asia. These countries are still considered to be relatively “undiscovered” by Chinese, with less direct airline connections.

In 2014, China has overtaken the USA as world’s largest outbound travel market. Thanks to a massive population, rising disposable income, rapid urbanization and relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel, China is now the largest source of international tourism globally, with an average growth of 12% over the last 10 years.

Countries that have recognized the significance of Chinese market, have already started building better bilateral relationship with PR China, established direct flights, invested into infrastructure, bigger airports and jet fleets, new railways, hotels and theme parks. In most cases with better service for Chinese tourists.

According to CTA, countries that have had the highest rise in popularity amongst Chinese tourists in 2017 are: Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Iceland, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Previously, these countries invested a lot into tourism promotion in China, while working on easing visa restrictions and simplifying visa procedures. They worked on introduction of "China Friendly" service quality standards, and offered more authentic products and traveling experiences. Chinese are no longer only "shoppers".

East and Southeast Europe is experiencing strong growth amongst Chinese tourists, most popular countries being Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Poland and Greece. They have already visited Western Europe, and the have high expectations regarding quality of service, travelling comfort, and unique experiences. They care for safety of traveling, clean environment, convenient flights and visas and friendliness towards Chinese tourists.

In 2017, the number of tourist arrivals to Croatia from China (including Hong Kong and Macau) has reached 192 000, all-time record high with an increase of 53% over the same period last year. Looking into the most popular months when Chinese tourists visited Croatia, the end of spring (May and June) and early autumn (September and October), it shows that Chinese tourists don’t prefer to enjoy "sun and the sea". Chinese like active holidays, full of sightseeing activities, authentic experiences, natural and historic surroundings.

Southeast Europe has plenty to offer in terms of clean nature, authentic culture and unique experiences. Croatian historic coastal towns and beautiful lakes, Montenegro’s coast and luxury products, Bosnia’s romanticised past and mixed culture, Serbia’s friendliness, history and gastronomy, Slovenia’s natural beauties. Serbia and Montenegro have showed their welcome to Chinese tourists by opening direct flight to Beijing, and by abolishing visas for Chinese tourists.

According to the report from Ctrip and Chinese internet search engine Baidu, top ten key words used in China related to travel and outbound tourism are (translated from Chinese): islands (100), cuisine (96), nature exploration (95), outdoor sports (95) family vacation (90), five-star hotel (81), cool in summer (79), urban leisure (78), in-depth experience (71), rehabilitation (70).

According to big-data Ctrip platform for searches and blogging, most common questions that Chinese users ask before making travelling decisions are about: traffic (15.9%), attractions (17.0%), food (18.7%), traveling companions (13.4%), shopping (10.0%), weather (4.4%), immigration (1.4%), foreign exchange (1.5%), and baggage allowance (0.5%).

Chinese tourist traveling Southeast Europe mostly visit 3-7 countries during 8-15 days of traveling, usually stay 1-3 nights in each country, and visit most popular attractions. They travel in groups because of very little foreign language skills. They usually have university degree, and are middle 45-60 years old in average. They rarely visit the country they have already visited before, rather see the trip as one-time life experience ("bucket list") and gives them a sense of pride over friends, relatives and colleagues.
PROGRAM
The conference aim is to increase the number of Chinese tourists in Croatia and the region, and to better acquaint of Chinese investors with local tourism capacities and offer.
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We're inviting you to join this unique conference. Croatia has never before witnessed such an event with top Chinese tourist workers, associations and investors.
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