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Italy seeks to woo Chinese tourists
Italy, as a popular tourist destination, continues to be the preferred European destination by Chinese people, with a two-digit increase every year.
 
Dorina Bianchi, Italy’s undersecretary of state for cultural heritage and tourism, visited Shanghai recently to meet with China Tourism Academy Vice President Li Zhongguang and also participated in the World Bridge Tourism Shanghai event.
 
“The EU-China Tourism Year 2018 is the clear expression of the reciprocal importance of tourism and cultural relations between China and Europe,” Bianchi told Shanghai Daily. “During the forthcoming year, there will be numerous initiatives, in which Italy intends to play a leading role, promote the less-known destinations in the Peninsula, and design a series of transnational projects.”
 
The inauguration event for EU-China Tourism Year 2018 will take place in Venice.
 
“We are considered an ‘open-air museum,’ since anywhere you travel in Italy you can admire the masterpieces of our architecture and the beauty of our art,” she said.
 
“Our objective is not only to welcome tourists to our most famous destinations but also to differentiate our tourist offerings, aiming at giving tourists the opportunity to experience our ‘Italian lifestyle’ at 360 degrees.”
 
She said Italy plans to strengthen the development of sustainable tourism, focusing on promoting the country’s hidden treasures.
 
“Culture is the primary attraction and drive for designing new experiences, which we firmly believe will be strongly appreciated by Chinese tourists in general, with constant attention to the structural enhancing of services and quality standards,” she said.
 
A new “Welcome Chinese Certification” was initiated in Italy four years ago at major airports (including Malpensa Airport in Milan) and train stations.
 
Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region was recognized by the China Tourism Academy as the first “Welcome Chinese Destination” city in Italy. Chinese travelers have been supported by the standards required by the CTA.
 
According to the Italian Consulate General in Shanghai, half a million Italian visas were issued on the Chinese mainland last year. And the first three months of this year saw a 15 percent increase over the same period a year earlier.
 
Direct Milan-Nanjing biweekly flights operated by the Italian company Neos were inaugurated in Nanjing recently.
 
“Furthermore, we are dedicated to the promotion of UNESCO sites as quality tourist destinations, thanks also to the twinning program with Chinese UNESCO sites launched within the framework of the Italian-China Cultural Forum in February,” Bianchi said.
 
  Source: Shanghai Daily

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