According to Jing Travel Chinese arrivals to EU destinations increased by 5.1% year-on-year in 2018, and forward bookings for Chinese travel to the region for the first four months of 2019 point to continued growth. In 2018, the top three EU destinations in terms of volume of Chinese arrivals were the UK, Germany and France. The three leading growth destinations were Croatia, Estonia and Hungary. This could be good news for EU countries promoting medical and health tourism.
The article says this is according to the latest figures from the European Travel Commission (ETC), in collaboration with leading air travel analyst ForwardKeys. 2018 was EU-China Tourism Year, an initiative designed to promote the EU as a tourism destination to the fast-growing Chinese market.
ForwardKeys said: “Chinese tourists continue to put Europe at the top of their favorite destinations despite the relative slowdown in the Chinese economy and any concerns about Brexit.”
In 2018, the top three EU destinations in terms of volume of Chinese arrivals were the UK (up 2.4%), Germany (up 2.6%) and France (up 7.7%). The three leading growth destinations were Croatia (up 45.7%), Estonia (up 35.8%) and Hungary (up 25.1%).
European Travel Commission Executive Director Eduardo Santander said: “The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year initiative has been extremely successful. And we continue to see the benefits in 2019. The growth in Chinese travelers has been solid, and the near future, judging by current bookings, will see the EU continuing to increase its share of this valuable market, not just to traditional destinations, but lesser-known and emerging ones as well.”
ForwardKeys CEO Olivier Jager said: “Our findings confirm what a concerted effort to boost tourism can achieve. It also appears to have lasting effects, as we can see in the forward booking figures.”
The European Travel Commission is an association of National Tourism Organisations. Europe is the world’s number one tourist destination region with 712 million.