This summer the tourism sector will give the definitive shelving to the coronavirus pandemic, since everything indicates that this 2023 will be a record summer. Despite the good forecasts, the only fringe that can tarnish these great data is the arrival of Chinese tourists. And it is that, the recovery of Chinese tourism in Spain probably a lot of the resolution of the war conflict in Ukraine, due to which it has not been possible to fully restore air connections between Europe and the Asian country, according to the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rosana Morillo.
It is very difficult to make forecasts about the number of Chinese tourists that Spain may receive this year, given that many air connections have not been restored, because there is a no-fly zone, where Chinese companies fly over, but not European ones, he explained to EFE
It is a “very important” factor, which makes it difficult to predict the evolution of Chinese demand not only during the present, but also for the one to come, but, at this time, Morilla rules out that it can return to the pre-pandemic figures in 2023 of more than 700,000 tourists from the Asian country received in Spain in 2019 s Chinese tourists once the country’s authorities have lifted the harsh restrictions on movement this year in its “covid zero” policy.
The reopening of China has been the missing piece for the full recovery of world tourism after the worst crisis in its history, taking into account that, before the pandemic, the Asian country was the largest emitter of tourism in the world. In 2019, Chinese tourists made 166 million international trips and spent 270 billion dollars (254.5 billion euros).
Strengthen the bilateral relationship with China
Therefore, what must be done this year is to continue working to attract Chinese tourists to Spain, and for Morillo the “Dialogue for China-Spain tourism cooperation” organized tomorrow by Turespaña could be a good start to promoting our destination in the Asian country. The conference will allow Chinese agents to learn what Spain can offer its visitors and, “for our part, learn from Asian tour operators and agents what tourists from their country are demanding when looking for travel experiences”, he pointed out. .
In his opinion, we must begin to ensure the bilateral relationship, “especially at a private level, between his agents and our companies, so that, as soon as we can resume all the connectivity that he had before the covid and even improve it, we are prepared” . Morilla has made appear in the public-private nature of this debate forum, something very important because, in the end, what is sought is “to invigorate and strengthen the relationship between the agents of both countries, to develop the Chinese market, which is so potential it has for Spain”.
The Secretary of State recalled that Spain was the first country to go to China after its reopening, to meet with the Government and travel agents. The visit of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has been a sample of the importance that the relationship with China has for Spain, especially in the tourist area, since, despite not being one of our main source markets in figures, it contributes a “very interesting” type of customer.
This is a tourist profile that tends to have a much longer stay than travelers from other markets and, above all, its average spending per person almost triples that of Spain’s issuing countries as a whole. In 2019, Chinese tourists abandoned nearly 1,700 million euros in Spain, with an average cost per person of 2,407 euros, while per day it stood at 308 euros, slightly more than double the 155 average for travelers as a whole. international.
Speed up the processing of visas
Given the complaints from the sector about the slowness with which visas are processed to travel to Spain, he has qualified that “these are very specific problems and in certain countries”. Sometimes there is an increase in flow “and you cannot give the quick response that you would like as a public administration or as a government”, he has recognized.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on improving this issue not only in China, but in other countries, because Spain has concluded.