Brand new research about chinese tourists in EU unveiled at the opening of EU-China tourism year in Venice
Brand new research focusing chinese tourists in Europe: Save and B-sm@rk presents “Venice Marco Polo” today, on occasion of the official opening of Eu-China tourism year 2018 in Venice.
In july 2016 EU president Juncket and chinese premier Li Keqiang have annoounced 2018 as Eu-China tourism year (ECTY). The main objectives of this joint programme are the aim of increasing the number of chinese tourists in EU destinations, with special focus to millennials FIT (free independent travellers). They are expected to be the 75% of chinese outbound tourism in 2018 and drive the 55% consumers boost of chinese economy. They are counting ca 25% of chinese population, with about 400 million people born between 1980 and 1999 in the Contry.
The goal of increasing the tourism quota from China to EU brings also qualitative aspects though. By 2020 ECTY aims at leveraging about 300.000 extra tourists per year towards EU destinations, which can have an economic impact of about 1 billion Euro extra business for the tourism sector. Other very important objectives are related to a new focus on less famous destinations, as tier 2 cities and niche itineraries, also in view of partially solving the problems of the major cities in terms of tourism demand peak in high season. New itineraries and proposals for low seasons in Europe tourism is meant to be an important effect.
Driven by this rapidly evolving context and market opportunity and in view of new strategic potential to be unlocked between Venice and China, Save (the company controlling Venice Marco Polo and Treviso airports) has asked B-sm@rk to develop a tailored research on chinese tourism and their perception of Venice, with particular focus to millennials FIT group. The project has started in november 2017 and has involved about 3000 chinese people, both in Venice and China, with the ambition to contribute from the opening to ECTY programme and main objectives.
The research project has generated new insights thanks to data collected in various points of interest in Venice (including Marco Polo airport) using different and complementary touchpoints, onsite and online.
The focus of the project has been the engagement of a number of tourists and potential ones with a serie of questions about their travel behaviour, preferences and feelings, looking mainly at EU cities preference and city of Venice evaluation, the latter being considered as a brand and key destination for chinese tourism in Italy and EU.
The research has been featured by “Brand and Destination Personality” approach, developed by B-sm@rk in the past years as a distinctive methodology to observe, describe and analyse tourists perception and destination image. Few projects have been developed recently in Venice already, such as PGC (Peggy Guggenheim Collection), Venice Islands and Mestre.
The specific address of this research approach is to highlights some psycho – behavioral insights of tourists and elaborate a view of the destination image which can be then further analysed and compared with destination identity. Main outcomes should be the optimization of the perception by different tourists profiles, using personality as new feature for assessment.
Today, during the business summit EU-China in Venice, some of the key findings will be presented and discussed during the workshops. In particular the sample of chinese tourists involved has expressed a high desire of them to visit Italy and Venice, a high interest in a nonstop flight between Venice and China, especially from the millennials FIT group, which could be a key marketing address also for Marco Polo airport within ECTY.
Here below some bullet points of the research:
health, wellness, green and nature are some of the most flagged desires by chinese people in terms of travel experiences, especially if they have not yet visited EU;
culture is the most flagged tourist experience and driver for chinese who have been traveled to EU already;
B&B and luxury hotels can be quite far in terms of pricepoint and accomodation experience, though both of them are highly scored by chinese people who have been in EU;
in terms of travel companion, chinese people tend to prefer friends, family or couple as travelmate for Europe. This element could be seen with high interest especially for FITs, who are designing independently their trip and could be interested to receive ad hoc recommendation;
Venice is among the top 5 EU cities preferred by the chinese tourists involved in this research, just behind Paris and London and quite same level as Rome;
Venice is instead the first choice among italian cities by the millennials of this research sample;
Some 80% of the respondents have expressed interest towards a nonstop flight Venice-China;
The emotion “joy” is the most used for Venice to express the feeling of a visit in the city; “curiosity” is the main emotional expression for those who have not yet visited Venice;
chinese tourists who have been in Venice are keen on promoting the destination among their networks and friends, especially if they are millennials;
the revisit of Venice in the next 3 years has been seen as a good possibility among the audience, though not a must to. This data can be seen as the desire to visit many other places, but also as a marketing opportunity or threat to carefully analyse;
Chinese millennials FIT use WeChat as the main inspiration source when planning a trip overseas. They expect recognition and personalisation when travelling and shopping, and they look like a more sophisticated consumer group than chinese travelling with scheduled tours;
In view of ECTY this research project will be very important for Save and Venice Marco Polo airport, since a high interest in a new nonstop flight Venice-China has been highlighted as well as the opportunity to play a strategic role in the attraction of new chinese tourists in Europe. Save has been pro-active towards this new connection in the past few months, as stateed also by the group CEO this week. It is key to consider that Venice airport is in the top 10 of EU unserved airports with China, and passengers statistics are showing a high number of chinese travellers reaching Venice through other hubs.
This aspect is even more interesting if considered under the lens of millennials: young chinese who drive consumptions, tourism and economy of their Nation have expressed in this research a preference of over 80% for a direct flight.
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