Monday, August 8, 2011

Spain aims to welcome 1 million Chinese tourists in 2020

 Visitors appear at La Concha bay from Igeldo mount, in the Northern Spanish city of San Sebastian in June 2011. (AFP Photo)

Spain, Europe’s second-most visited country following France, aims to welcome a single million Chinese visitors in 2020, the government stated Tuesday. The country received 89,523 Chinese visitors in 2009, the last year for which figures are offered, and Tourism Minister Miguel Sebastian mentioned this figure need to rise to 300,000 in 2012.

To enhance the number of guests from China, Spain plans to ease visa requirements for Chinese nationals, encourage far more immediate flights in between the two countries and open more tourist offices in the Asian giant, he additional. The government also plans to publish guides about Spain in mandarin and encourage restaurants and hotels to supply foods and opening hours that are more suited to Chinese tastes.

“This enhance in the flow of visitors will increase understanding about Spain in China and understanding of China in Spain,” Sebastian said at a China-Spain company forum in Barcelona. Spain has just two tourist offices in China, in Beijing and Guangzhou and Air China, China’s only national flag carrier, is at the moment the sole airline to supply immediate flights among the two nations. The minister will present the government’s plan to boost tourist arrivals from China, the world’s most populous nation, in Beijing on July 27.

“We want to attract Chinese tourists, because Spain is a wonderful nation that has considerably to supply and where every person can really feel at property,” Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez told the gathering. Whilst most of China’s 1.3 billion folks reside on just a number of dollars a day, the nation is making a burgeoning middle class that can dwarf the populations of several other nations, and who are eager to travel abroad. 

The UN Globe Tourism Organisation estimated that the range of Chinese visitors going to foreign destinations will amount 100 million by 2020, up from from 31 million in 2005 when it was the seventh greatest spender on foreign travel. Most overseas trips by Chinese are to other Asian destinations, but they are increasingly heading to Europe and the United States as restrictions on travel to these regions ease.  Spain slipped from third to fourth location amongst the world’s most visited countries in 2010, behind France, the United States and China, according to figures from the UN World Tourism Organisation.

It received 52.six million foreign guests last year, up slightly from 52.five million in 2009.

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