The first national China Day organized by Mibact in Orvieto, Umbria, in collaboration with the Italian China Foundation, took shape in anticipation of 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, which will kick off on January 19, 2018 in Venice.

The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year program focuses on the specificity of the demand and on the behavior patterns of Chinese visitors. It is an initiative that fully falls within the Strategic Plan of Tourism 2017-2022, designed to promote the development of the Italian tourism offer.

“Italy is one of the European destinations preferred by the Chinese tourist, and it is, therefore, an opportunity not only to make known our cities of art but also the villages – small excellences of the historical heritage. We have worked heavily to strengthen the ties that unite our country with China, which increasingly places great emphasis on Made in Italy – a work that covered the ability to welcome Chinese tourism demand, to the study of the scenario and development strategies, passing through the fundamental promotion and communication of the Italian brand towards this specific market,” commented Dorina Bianchi, Undersecretary of Mibact with responsibility for Tourism.

The agenda of the day focuses on analysis and prospects for the development of tourist flows from China to Italy – flows that have assumed important dimensions for the entire economy of the country.

“For about a year, a working group has been dedicated to analyzing Chinese tourism. I am particularly pleased that this strategic initiative, created to understand and study the flows that push millions of tourists coming from China, finds its rightful place in Umbria that for years has been promoting this event,” added Francesco Palumbo, Director General of Tourism at the Mibact.

It will be up to this great project to implement ways to ensure growth flows from China to Europe, outlining new opportunities and tourist destinations. The grand opening ceremony of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year will take place on January 19, 2018 in Venice, in the prestigious setting of Palazzo Ducale, in the presence of the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang; the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker; President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani; of the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni; and will see the participation of all the highest offices of the various European countries and of the major European and Chinese companies and companies operating in tourism.

“The priority for Europe,” said Jacopo Sertoli, CEO of Welcome Chinese, “is to attract more visitors to Europe, and to become attractive, it is necessary to offer the Chinese tourist programs, activities and travel experiences at different levels, in [the] Chinese language and respecting the customs of the Chinese people.”

In the first half of 2017, the number of Chinese tourists in Italy compared to 2016 increased by 15%, a trend destined to increase significantly and above all with the promotion dedicated to the 2018 Year of Tourism.