China-focused digital marketing specialist Dragon Trail Interactive will open an office in London this month to capitalise on the strong Chinese outbound demand for Europe, with ChinaContact founder, Roy Graff, appointed as the managing director, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
George Cao, co-founder and CEO, said: “The European Commission is running a series of programmes to assist European businesses to attract Chinese tourists ahead of the EU-China Tourism Year in 2018. Our London base positions us well to assist UK companies to attract Chinese tourists, which according to VisitBritain grew 46 per cent in 2016.”
Moreover, the UK’s recently launched two-year, multiple-entry visa has driven the Chinese inbound market to grow a higher rate than last year, marketing director Michaela Mentasti told TTG Asia.
As well, the perceived safety and marketing initiatives by Scandinavian countries have resulted in “40 per cent increase in arrivals in 2016” from China, she added.
While the number of Chinese visitors to the Middle East and Africa is still relatively small, Mentasti indicated that more Chinese travellers are now looking for novel countries after having visited Europe and the US.
“Egypt and South Africa received 30 per cent increases in the number of tourists as soon as they simplified their visa processes. Morocco experienced a 300 per cent year-on-year increase last year after it no longer required visas from Chinese tourists,” she shared.
Elsewhere, Israel saw a 60 per cent increase in Chinese tourist arrivals in 2016 after it introduced a 10-year visa, added Mentasti.