BEIJING The European Union expects that the number of Chinese tourists visiting the member countries will increase by at least 8 percent in the current year compared to 2017, given that 2018 is being celebrated as the EU-China Tourism Year, the EU ambassador to China said at a press conference in the Chinese capital.
However, Hans-Dietmar Schweisgut could not provide an exact number as the EU does not have a common system of calculating the number of tourists who are entering or leaving.
We do expect a continuation of the trend, with a minimum of an 8 increase, he explained.
This would result in an increase in income, he said, given that according to estimates, a 10 percent increase in Chinese tourists to the EU would mean an increase of 1 billion euros ($1.23 billion) in income for the member nations in total.
Schweisgut said that the objectives of the Tourism Year, which was formally launched in Venice last week, focused on improving people-to-people exchanges while creating economic opportunities for both the EU and China, including lesser-known tourist areas.
It is not about advertising Europe in China or China in Europe. The new thing is more on offering personal experiences, he said.
What we have seen in the last years is coordination of the security services and intelligence services to prevent attacks happening, he said, regarding the concerns expressed by some Chinese journalists about the threat of Islamic terrorism in Europe.
Schweisgut lamented the fact that such attacks did take place, but assured that Europe as a whole is still one of the safest places in the world.
As part of the initiative, the EU has launched a campaign on social media platforms used in China including WeChat and Weibo that informs Chinese citizens about values, economy, culture and lifestyle of the EU and its 28 member states through a series of social media posts, podcasts, infographics and animated videos.