World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifai welcomed the forthcoming 2018 EU-China Year of Tourism during his participation at the 1st anniversary of the Europe China OBOR Culture & Tourism Development Committee of the Europe-China “One Belt One Road” initiative.
China’s initiative for a modern-day silk road, known as “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR), aims to connect Asia, Africa, Europe and their near seas.
The event held recently in Brussels, Belgium, stressed the relevance of tourism and culture in strengthening the links between the European Union and China.
“The Committee works to ensure that the tourism sector within the European Union responds with a unified voice to the immense potential of the Chinese tourism market and the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, one of the largest ever investment plans”, said István Ujhelyi, President of the Committee.
“The support of UNWTO to the Committee and to the EU-China Year of Tourism in 2018 is of critical value.”
EU-China Year of Tourism
2018 was announced as the “EU-China Year of Tourism” by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, at the EU-China summit in July 2016.
According to the European Travel Commission, the EU-China Tourism Year is a great opportunity for the European tourism industry to explore the Chinese market, but also learn how to attract Chinese visitors and offer them the best experience.
China is the world’s largest travel market in terms of expenditure and the second largest in terms of outbound travel. European destinations have welcomed 10.1 million Chinese visitors in 2015, accounting for a share of 13% of all outbound travel from China. At the same time, Europe has sent 4.9 million visitors to China, accounting for 19% of the total foreign visitors.