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Spain Woos Chinese Travellers
Spain takes the Chinese as the most profitable tourists for its tourism sector.
Some 2,500 employees of a Chinese conglomerate arrived in Spain last week for an all-paid incentive holiday complete with a giant paella and sangria party, in a trip hailed as helping Madrid’s ailing local economy.
The Tiens group booked 1,650 hotel rooms, 70 buses and four entire high-speed trains for the one-week tour of Spain which took in Madrid, the central city of Toledo and Barcelona, costing a grand total of seven million euros (USD8 million).
In a statement, Tiens said the mainly Chinese workers would be treated to a giant paella and sangria party in the Spanish capital and a flamenco show.
Tiens, founded by Chinese tycoon Li Jinyuan, employs some 8,000 people and operates in a variety of sectors including biotechnology, retail and tourism.
It made headlines last year when it sponsored a holiday to France for 6,400 of its workers.
In a sign of the importance of the holiday for the debt-ridden Spanish capital, Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena met with Tiens Vice-President Liu Tianao.
“The economic impact of this trip is significant for Madrid,” the city hall said in a statement.
“Every year, 300,000 Chinese tourists come to Spain, most of them big consumers, who devote 70% of their travel budget to purchases,” it added, citing information from a 2015 global tourism summit.
“The Chinese are the most profitable tourists for Spain’s tourism sector.”
Spain — the world’s third tourism destination with 68 million visitors in 2015 — is seeking to attract more notoriously heavy-spending Chinese travellers, who often prefer France, Switzerland and Italy when they plan a visit to Europe.
This year, several new direct air routes from Spain to China are expected to be launched.
  Source: TTR Weekly

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