China-Denmark Tourism Year to Be Launched
The recent “Light up Copenhagen” tourism marketing campaign has brought traditional Chinese culture to local residents, including traditional Chinese colored lamps of various shapes, 10,000 red packets with the character “福” written on them, puppet shows, shadow plays, paper-cuts, calligraphies, Chinese paintings and tea ceremonies, etc., preluding activities to mark the China-Denmark Tourism Year whose opening ceremony is scheduled on February 24 in Beijing. It’s learned that during the tourism year, a host of tourism exchange and cooperation events will be staged, including the opening ceremony, the promotion of the Tea Road in Europe, “Panda’s Tour in Denmark”, China-Denmark Forum on Tourism Cooperation and the closing ceremony, etc.
“Denmark and China enjoy close economic and trade ties and tourism has become a key area of bilateral cooperation,” said some CNTA senior official, “Hosting the tourism year program is a decision jointly made by state heads of both countries. It will definitely improve bilateral tourism exchange and cooperation, people-to-people exchange and economic and trade contacts, and deepen bilateral ties.”
1. Significant meaning of the tourism year program
The China-Denmark relationship is a long-standing and well-established one. The Danish fairy tale “The Nightingale”, written in the 19th century by the world-famous Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, showed the author's interest in and curiosity about the mysterious land of ancient China. Denmark was one of the first in the West to establish diplomatic relations with the P.R. China. In the past more than six decades since then, tourism cooperation and exchange between the two has been deepening and tourism is growing into one of the major sectors of diplomatic interests.
At a meeting on March 31, 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen reached consensus on hosting the tourism year program for each other. This is a milestone of great importance in the history of tourism exchange and even bilateral relations of the two countries. From August 29 to 31, 2016, CNTA chairman Li Jinzao visited Denmark, and talked with then Danish Minister for Business and Growth Troels Lund Poulsen about how to actively translate the consensus into actions and make the tourism year program a success.
CTS general manager Xue Xiaogang noted, “With the exploding number of outbound tourists in China in recent years, the tourism year program has been playing an increasingly important role in expanding cultural and people-to-people exchange between China and other countries and deepening China’s cooperation with major sources of tourists.” A series of exchange activities and conveniences will be rolled out during the program, to strengthen communication and cooperation between Chinese and Danish tourism companies, increase mutual visits and create more opportunities for business cooperation.
CEO Wang Xiaosong of lvmama.com said, “More conveniences for tourists will be announced following the tourism year program to expand bilateral tourism exchange, a goal shared by Chinese and Danish business insiders.”
According to CYTS chief brand officer Xue Xiaolei, Denmark is one of the most favorite destinations for Chinese tourists. The tourism year program will, without doubt, create golden business opportunities and more space for both Chinese and Danish tourism companies.
2. Deepening tourism cooperation and exchange
Castles, countryside views and Greenland glaciers... With abundant tourism resources, Denmark boasts an advanced tourism economy in Europe and strong appeal to Chinese tourists and is one of their most favorite European destinations. Flemming Bruhn, director of VisitDenmark, noted the rapid growth of Chinese tourists in Denmark in recent years, up from 50,000 in 2009 to 218,000 in 2016. Following the launch of the tourism year program at the end of February in Beijing, his government would launch a range of marketing events targeting at Chinese tourists to lure them to Denmark.
“From 50,000 in 2009 to 218,000 in 2016, the number of Chinese tourists in Denmark is indeed ‘soaring’.” Xue Xiaogang added that, the European mainland has long been one of the favorite destinations for Chinese tourists. In recent years, more and more tourists have turned their eyes from West Europe to North Europe, the UK, Ireland and South Europe. CTS’ in-depth tour to North Europe, including Denmark, has been warmly welcomed by tourists. According to incomplete statistics, the number of customers signing up for the tour so far has doubled that in 2015.
Wang Xiaosong also said, the number of tourists purchasing tours to Denmark on lvmama.com increased by 162.5% year-on-year. During the Spring Festival holiday this year, the number of Chinese tourists in Denmark grew up by 33% from the previous year, accounting for about 8% of the total outbound tourists in China in that period. Among the Chinese visiting Denmark, 52.86% of them were born in the 1980s, more than other age groups, and they've become the main consumers among tourists in Denmark.
According to Xu Xiaolei, aoyao.com has close partnership with Danish tour partners and China’s a steady and maturing tourism market for Denmark. Based on the current market trends, most of the Chinese visitors to Denmark have traveled to Europe before. They are mature consumers with a deep pocket.
3. Contributing to bilateral relations
As China and Denmark step up tourism cooperation, the tourism industry will actively embrace the tourism year program, develop more tour products in Denmark, increase mutual visits, and play a positive role in deepening bilateral relations, enhancing mutual understanding and friendship and promoting win-win cooperation between the two countries.
According to Xue Xiaogang, overseas destinations should offer more tourism products and services that allow tourists to experience local life, so as to build an edge in the growing leisure & holiday tourism market. CTS, as the leading state-owned travel agency in China with 128 branches and subsidiaries, will actively respond to events and policies related to the tourism year program, jointly explore the Danish tourism market with local tourism companies, airline companies and tourism authorities, and develop customized tourism products for Chinese tourists.
Wang Xiaosong said, “As a key tourism company, lvmama.com will introduce more and better tour to Denmark products, attract more tourists to Denmark and contribute to the China-Denmark relations on the new historic threshold.”
Xu Xiaolei remarked, “aoyao.com will develop more in-depth tour-to-North Europe products, in particular parent-child tours. It plans to add Denmark-Norway and Denmark-Germany tours to its existing product line to keep tourists longer in Denmark, and intensify marketing efforts with relevant organizations to promote Denmark as a tourist destination.”
“Friendship is like wine, the older, the better,” a CNTA senior official cited the Chinese saying quoted by Danish PM in his Spring Festival greeting message to the Chinese people, “I believe that the upcoming tourism year program will strengthen bilateral tourism exchange and cooperation, promote mutual visits, and enhance cultural, economic and trade exchange between the two countries, bringing the ‘fairy tale’ of bilateral tourism exchange and comprehensive strategic partnership into reality.”