Greece welcomed an increasing number of Chinese travelers in the months of January and February, with tourism professionals expecting even larger growth in the coming months.
According to travel trends researchers ForwardKeys, Greek and Turkey were among the leading destinations visited by Chinese vacationers at the start of 2018, which also marks Chinese New Year, with the number of Greece-bound Chinese holidaymakers up by 55.7 percent compared to Spain at 7.4 percent in the same period. Turkey, meanwhile, appears to be back on track following the terror strikes there recording a soaring 108.2 percent rise in the first two months of 2018 compared to 2017.
Forwardkeys data is based on 17 million daily booking transactions by Chinese travelers, demonstrating an increased interest in European destinations.
According to the company’s analysts, Europe currently holds a 10 percent share of Chinese outbound tourism, with 2018 expected to be the year with the largest increase in the number of airline seats to European destinations.
Indicative of the demand, nine new routes were launched in the first half of 2018 linking China to European destinations including Madrid, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Brussels, London, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm, Edinburgh, and London, with at least four new routes set for the the second half of the year.
In the meantime, the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY) initiative was celebrated on February 28 through a dedicated Parliamentary Day and the EU-China Tourism and Culture Cooperation Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels.