“Welcome Chinese” certification granted to Italy
The first official qualifier for tourism businesses and transportation-oriented Chinese customers with parameters and services for the China market has been officially granted to Italy.
“Welcome Chinese” is a new and innovative standard of services specifically designed for Chinese travelers. Its purpose is to improve the degree of readiness of international travel related businesses in welcoming Chinese guests. There are Bronze, Silver and Gold certifications granted according to the number of services provided, and this is the only international standard recognized by the China Tourism Academy (CTA).
This important recognition was communicated by the President of the China Tourist Academy (CTA), Mr. Dai-Bin, at the presence of HH the Chinese Ambassador for Italy, Mr. Li Ruiyu, at the international media headquarters in Rome. Mr. Dai Bin said: "Through collaboration with hotels, restaurants, carriers, airports, and shopping malls, we intend to offer to Chinese tourists a better travel experience, with reception and care oriented to their needs.” This sort of "quality seal" will have fixed costs for businesses to participate.
The stakes are very high, as according to the CTA, since 2012 China has become the nation with the largest volume of tourist expenditure in the world, with 88.2 million outbound tourists and an annual expenditure of $102 billion. It is expected that in 2013-2014 the volume of Chinese travelers will touch 95 million. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) itself has estimated that by 2020 it will record over 130 million outbound departures from China, with a share of 22% of the total tourist expenditure in the world.
Italy a favorite destination for Chinese tourists
Jacopo Sertoli, CEO of Select Holding and Chairman of Welcome Chinese, said: "We chose Italy as the first country in Europe for this certification because it is the destination of choice for Chinese travelers, and also because in less than a year the Expo 2015 will open, where China is the country with the largest pavilion and the highest number of enterprises and foreign visitors expected during the event."
Andrea Babbi, Director General of ENIT, said: “In the past two years, the ENIT - The Italian Government Tourist Board, formerly the Ente Nazionale Italiano per il Turismo (Italian National Agency) has made the greatest effort to oversee this [Chinese] market in the last year; we have organized educational tours that involved over 70 Chinese tour operators, we met in China around 500 local tour operators, and we organized travel for 150 Chinese journalists to visit Italy."
"In view of the Expo, we participated in 3 major tourism fairs in China, supporting operators and Italian hotel operators. Finally, we translated into Mandarin language our advertising campaign, with a total investment of 4.5 million euro, which, although addressed primarily to the European markets, has a value also for China," added Babbi.
Among the first Italian companies that have joined the Chinese Welcome certification program are Fiumicino Airport (ADR) which has welcomed last year some 1.3 million passengers from Southeast Asia, and Italo NTV, with trains that offer services geared to the Chinese, thanks to dedicated displays and information in Chinese.
A complete willingness to share this host to the Chinese was also expressed by the President of Federalberghi, Bernabo Bocca: "In anticipation of a million Chinese who should arrive in our country for Expo 2015, this certification can be a first step towards a qualification product of Italy, depending on the market, and a competitive plus compared to other European destinations. In fact, today more than ever we need to measure ourselves with the global market and tourism in non-European countries, which has produced a cost of $107 billion, of which China is the most important basin and certainly an area of great significance for the Italian tourism industry."
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