China continues to fuel arrivals growth across European destinations helped by its expanding middle class, increased air connectivity and easier visa procedures, altogether contributing significantly to the surge of outbound travel from this market.
More than one in two reporting destinations saw growth in Chinese arrivals based on early data for 2018.
Serbia (+254%) and Montenegro (+153%) reported the fastest growth, although from a lower base, partly owing to significant improvements in visa facilitation. Croatia and Poland were up 46% and 30% respectively, aided by increased promotional activities. Finland (+21%) also saw sustained growth benefitting from Finnair's Asian strategy.
Turkey (+100%) reported a notable rebound in Chinese visitor arrivals. This recovery could be attributed to Turkey's tourism strategy where diversification is the main theme, targeting destinations other than the traditional western nations to ensure tourism growth in the event of global or political challenges.
Despite a more moderate economic growth projected for 2018, Chinese tourist arrivals are expected at a significant level over the next four-year period, potentially at 7.5% a year on average.
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