The European Union (EU) and China will be forming the EU-China Tourism Bureau, a joint committee that serves to represent the bilateral interests of the travel trade.
Ujhelyi Istvan, member of the European Parliament, speaking at the Global Tourism Economy Forum 2016 in Macau last month, noted that much more can be done to promote Europe’s tourism offerings.
Istvan, who is also vice-chair of the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee, chair of the tourism task force, and also a member in the delegation responsible for relations with China, said: “We need more promotional campaigns about our cultures, cities and tourist destinations.”
He comments that current tourism work groups between the EU and China are insufficient. “In the EU parliament, we have a partner committee which works for the European tourists, but I think it’s not enough so we’ll create a new committee – a joint project to get tourist associations and political decision makers to serve both Chinese and European relationships.”
Hu Zhimin, headquarter vice president of China International Travel Service, agrees with the need for improved bilateral ties.
“We look forward to seeing more promotions from the EU, and Eastern Europe (especially), has been an emerging destination for sophisticated Chinese tourists given its rich tourism resources,” he told TTG Asia. “It’d be helpful to have this bureau act as a centralised agency to do marketing rather than have individual destinations like Poland and Slovenia to rely on their limited budgets. They may ride on this platform to push their brands to Chinese visitors.”
The formation of the EU-China Tourism Bureau comes on the back of 2018 being declared the EU-China Year of Tourism.