Posted On 2016/05/12 By In News, China Outbound, Media, Destinations With 602 Views

Italy goes a Step beyond to make Chinese Tourists feel Welcome

Chinese police officers are now patrolling the streets of Italy to protect the wealthy visitors from China during the country’s peak tourism period. As part of a groundbreaking two-week experiment, Chinese police are now deployed at the major tourist attractions of Milan and Rome, in order to make Chinese tourists feel safer — because as the Italian chief of police, Alessandro Pansa, said, all it takes is one lost document to make a visitor feel vulnerable.

“It’s a strategic investment which opens an important collaboration on information exchange and on resource sharing, in order to prevent the criminal and terrorist phenomena which are hurting our countries,” explained Pansa.

It is the first time China has sent officers to Europe to protect its citizens. Four Chinese officers have received special training in Beijing prior to the assignment and speak both Italian and English. They have been paired with an Italian counterpart and deployed to major tourist attractions in Italy’s two major cities. The program will continue until May 13 after which Italian police will be sent to Beijing and Shanghai to offer similar services to Italian tourists.

Over 110 million Chinese spent more than $130 billion in 2014 overseas and Italy is named as the top 10 destinations where Chinese are willing to go. Around 3 million Chinese visitors travel to Italy each year, according to Beijing authorities, and the Italian government is hoping to increase the number through various initiatives.

In 2014, Rome obtained the much-coveted “Welcome China” certification, which makes tourism in Italy that much more enjoyable for Chinese tourists. Italian Prime Minister Mattio Renzi, in an effort to entice more Chinese to the country, alsoannounced in the same year the Italian government will trim down visa processing time for Chinese citizens to only 36 hours.

A similar project in Paris was scrapped in 2014 over concerns the police will have trouble operating in a country with such a different legal climate or that foreign police would “diminish France’s national sovereignty.”


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Sources:

Article: Carbonated TV / Image: Luigi Andreola

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About

Stefan

Stefan (from Austria, Europe) has been living, studying and working in China since 2010. Stefan has worked on several research, publication and consulting projects focusing on the China Travel Market. He holds three Masters degrees and is an expert on China Outbound Tourism, Marketing and Social Media in China. Stefan works with BMG on the Global Ready China Seminars as well as the Global Ready China News and related projects. He also has teaching engagements in the areas of eMarketing and Tourism Strategy.

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