Representatives of tour operator TUI China, an affiliate of leading travel and tourism group TUI, recently attended an event in Athens held to connect the Greek and Beijing travel and tourism communities.
“We are here to promote the beautiful city of Beijing to tourism and trade partners in Greece and also connect with the Air China direct flight connection from Athens to Beijing,” TUI China CEO Dr. Guido Brettschneider told GTP Headlines on the sidelines of the event, which presented Beijing as a popular tourism destination to the Greek tourism industry.
TUI China was established by TUI and Chinese CTS Group in 2003 as the first foreign-based company in China with a foreign majority. With offices in Beijing and Shanghai and having received one of the very few outbound licenses by the Chinese government, its main focus is to attract outbound tourists to China.
At the moment, the number of Greeks traveling to Beijing and China in general is limited but, according to Dr. Brettschneider, the Athens-Beijing direct route of Air China can change that.
“Reaching a destination is always a big topic and now with Air China we have the direct flight and I think that it will make a lot of impact in the future development of visitors from Greece to China,” he said.
Air China’s Athens-Beijing non-stop flight connects the two capital cities three times a week, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The route is served by Air China’s Airbus 330-200 aircraft and the trip lasts 10,5 hours.
Puttmann: TUI is changing
On his part, TUI Group Head of Public Policy Frank Puttmann said that TUI China’s presence in Athens shows how TUI is changing as an organization.
“TUI is the largest business bringing tourists to Greece but we are being seen only as an inbound organization… We bring more than two million guests to Greece, but have no history in taking Greek tourists out of Greece, so this is something that we want to change,” Puttmann told GTP Headlines.
According to Puttman, TUI China’s approach to attract outbound Greek tourists to China is a major strategic addition to TUI’s existing business model.
Greece is one of the first destinations and markets globally where TUI is implementing this addition to its business.
“This is where TUI China is really instrumental to help us to become a strong reach into the Greek market as well, because there is no reason actually why Greek travelers should not book TUI when they go abroad, wherever they want to go,” Puttman added.
The promotional event for Beijing was held on Tuesday at the Zappeion Hall in Athens and was organized by Multipath Travel Services and held under the auspices of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development.
The event focused on presenting Beijing as a popular tourism destination for Greek travelers and was attended by professionals of the Greek and Chinese tourism industry.