Andalucia signs an agreement with the European Union to attract more tourists from China.
WITH huge uncertainty over the future of tourism in Spain, the Andalucian Community is planning on casting its net wider and cashing in on the huge number of Chinese visitors that flock to Europe every year. To this end, the Junta de Andalucia has signed a new agreement with European initiative EU SME Centre, which aims to give practical advice to small and medium-sized local businesses on how to attract and best serve customers from China.
Many Chinese tourists are eager to be begin travelling internationally as soon as border closures allow, as long as it is deemed safe to do so. In the past Chinese travellers tended to visit en masse, and the big groups often preferred sightseeing and shopping in major cities such as Barcelona and Madrid. Other areas, especially rural towns and villages, did not get a look in on this part of the tourist industry. To address this gap, the Junta’s tourism department has agreed to the collaboration with the hope that specialised seminars and consultations for business owners will help them break into this lucrative foreign market.
The Junta de Andalucia said that “the EU SME Centre, funded by the European Union, has a team of experts who offer SMEs advice and support in four areas, such as business development, legislation, standards and compliance and human resources,” as reported by Spanish news outlet Sur.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE) some 1,000 Chinese tourists stayed in hotels in Malaga every month before the coronavirus pandemic halted travel, with the view of travelling around – and spending money in – the Costa del Sol.
Prof Dr Wolfgang Georg Arlt, CEO of China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) explained that “Chinese travellers do not fly all the way to Europe to go to the beach and most of them do not even come for the sunshine. Provided with the right offers and interesting stories, they will not only add to the number of visitors to Spain, but will bring benefits to new regions.”