According to pe-pandemic data from the 2019 annual subscriber survey of Travelzoo, a travel and entertainment deal provider in Asia: 19% of Chinese travellers say that they would like to go to Italy. The country is ranked 8th in the top 10 of Chinese traveller’s destinations wish list and is the first European country to appear on this list. Italy is thus overtaking France, Britain, Greece and Switzerland with its high position.
According to Travelzoo Italy is “seen as aspirational and desirable holiday destinations, particularly for the huge emerging middle classes who no longer want guided tours, but instead want relaxing breaks with a touch of culture, good food and luxurious surroundings.”
Here are the reasons why the country is appealing to Chinese tourists.
Italy is known in China for its high-end fashion brands. Their products sell very well in the middle kingdom. Last year Prada, one of the most well-known transalpine brands in China, registered 826 million euros in sales turnover.
Italian Outlet Case Study: Milan shopping market has contacted us for help. The challenge was in the location: while crowds of Chinese are storming the heart of the city, only a few Chinese shoppers know where else In Milan to find luxury at more affordable prices.
Our team accepted the challenge and performed a well-rounded marketing campaign with an emphasis on undercover marketing and social media. Through dedicated Chinese shopper blogs, we have widespread information about the wealth shopping options our client can provide as well as all the information to cover how to reach them. A dedicated campaign on RED and Weibo helped us to widespread the message to more audience of active Chinese luxury shoppers.
As a result, just in 3 months, the number of Chinese shoppers has tripled! According to our client, the number of local sellers who would like to use rent their facilities has grown several times.
With that kind of success, some Chinese companies decided to invest in Italian fashion. That was the case of the Li & Fung Group which bought the high-end Italian fashion brand Cerruti for $70 million in 2010.
Chinese love eating foreign food and Italian food has a particularly good reputation in the country. Indeed China imported Italian food and beverages for more than 71 billion USD worth. The typical Italian imported products are wine, pasta, olive oil, chocolate ice cream, ham, cheese and mineral water.
On October 2022, China’s Bright Food Group Co., a Shanghai-based food company, even announced that they would buy a majority stake in the Italian olive oil maker Salov Group.
Appealing to the young generation
Since the launch of the Marco Polo and Turandot programs in the early 2000’s the number of Chinese students enrolling in Italian universities has never stopped increasing. The number of Chinese students in Italy grew from 500 in 2010 to over 50,000 in 2019. This is a strategic way to improve future China- Italy relations. The good experiences of Chinese students in Italy are helping to promote Italy in China.
A Chinese-friendly country
In 2023 the Italian Embassy in Beijing opened two new offices in order to be able to rapidly process and release more visas in three to five days. During an official trip to China, in June this year, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced that the visa processing time for Chinese citizens will soon only take 36 hours. This new processing time will make Italy the fastest European country to release visas for Chinese tourists.
With Milan’s Expo, Italy is also making a lot of efforts towards its tourists coming from China. Two main Italian newspapers and publisher companies started to print publications targeting Chinese travellers. And a campaign to have street signs in Chinese has been launched.
This a smart move considering that Chinese tourists are now willing to take more time to get to know the country they are visiting. So, as the Milan Expo will take place, Italy will provide Chinese tourists with tours to discover the Italian lifestyle in other destinations such as Florence, Tuscany wineries and Venice as well.
So that Italy is turning their well-known Italian lifestyle and passion for good food, wine and beautiful things into its advantage toward Chinese tourists. The country has made a lot of efforts to attract them with visas easier and faster to obtain, and services custom-made for them. Smart moves considering that tourism analysts are forecasting an increase of 17% in the Chinese travel budgets.
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