The full-on collaboration between the travel sectors of China and Europe has turned Europe into a “gold-rush” market for Chinese travel enterprises, which has been making diversified investment overseas, said Wen-ming Fan, deputy director of the Department of Tourism Promotion and International Liaison, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), on January 21.
Mr Fan said in the recent EU-China Tourism Cooperation Symposium that the EU countries have been favorable outbound destinations and inbound source markets for China. Data show that visitor arrivals from EU countries to China in 2015 reached 2.98 million and maintained at a high level, while the number of Chinese travelers who made EU countries the first ports of call in the same year hit 3.42 million, with a year-on-year increase of 22.9%.
The massive scale of the two-way flow of tourists between China and EU has fueled developments of transportation, accommodation, catering, shopping, finance and insurance, as well as mutual investments and employments. In 2013, the foreign direct investments that Chinese travel enterprises made in oversea markets grew 15.5% between 2013 to 2014, from $100.8 billion to $116 billion, and went up further in 2015, to an estimated $128 billion.
As pointed out by Zhong-guang Li, research associate of CNTA Data Center, Chinese investments in oversea tourism markets are market oriented, with private enterprises and private capitals as the mainstay. According to the data from Amadeus, out of the 7148 Chinese enterprises registered in 35 European countries, 85% are owned by individual investors.
Mr Li also said that in order to further exploit the potential of investment collaboration and forge ahead the economic and trade cooperation between EU and China, there needs to be bilateral efforts to create a freer and more convenient market environment with more platforms for communications to bring more opportunities of co-operations for enterprises, especially SMEs, of both sides.(Translation by Jerry)