Chinese arrivals to Italy grows 18% per year
Italy has now become one of the top European destinations for Chinese tourists with 4 million arrivals expected this year.
The 2015 Milan Expo is expected to boost visitor arrivals from China to Italy to 4 million this year, a significant jump compared to last year’s arrivals of 1.5 million from China.
Statistics show that the number of Chinese visitors to Italy has been growing at a rate of 18%. “Italy has now become one of the top European destinations for Chinese tourists since the region was opened to Chinese visitors in 2004. The number of Chinese applications for the Schengen ADS visa processed by Italian consulate has always ranked in the top two.” said the assistant GM of product standards of CYTS, Shuang Diao. Currently Italian destinations like Milan, Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa and Naples are popular with Chinese tourists of all ages.
Italian authorities have introduced various new measures in recent years for Chinese tourists, such as launching a Chinese-language official Italian tourism website, simplifying the visa process, designing detailed itineraries and local tour routes and providing Chinese-language Wi-Fi and guiding service at museums, historical attractions, hotels and shopping centers.
Director of Agenzia Nazionale Del Turismo, Cristiano Radaelli, said Italy has also added educational tourism, medical tourism and heritage experiential tourism, and the Italian government is now developing bicycle lanes to allow visitors to enjoy the European countryside through eco-friendly cycling tours. Other exciting experiences for Chinese visitors include watching Italian Seria A football league matches or the Ferrari F1 race live.
“With a million tickets already sold to Chinese, we are looking forward to a large Chinese turnout at the 2015 Milan Expo. I also expect a new record of over two million Chinese arrivals to Italy during the event,” Mr. Radaelli said. He estimates there will be four million Chinese arrivals to Italy this year.
Italy is ranked sixth among 24 nations in terms of satisfaction among Chinese visitors, with a satisfaction rating of 79.95% in a Q3 2014 survey by the China Tourism Academy.
Global Blue’s 2014 inventory also showed that Milan was the most popular city in the world for Chinese luxury shoppers, followed by Rome, Florence and Venice. Duty free shopping in Milan by Chinese shoppers has maintained steady growth in the past seven years and was up 13% in the first 10 months of 2014. Chinese tourists now contribute to 24% of the turnover of Milan’s duty free shopping, slightly shy of the 27% consumption share of top ranking Russian visitors.
Like Italy, China also has a rich culture and ample tourism resources that are in turn attracting an increasing number of Italian visitors. China welcomed 253,100 Italian visitors in 2014. Over 70% of the Italian respondents to a survey by Tourism Think Tank said they were “extremely interested” or “somewhat interested” in visiting China. “China’s deep heritage” was named the top reason for visiting by 45% of the respondents, followed by “natural scenery”. Italian visitors to China also reported a satisfaction rating of 90% with a accommodations and sights earning an especially high degree of satisfaction.(Translation by David)