The aim of the EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY) is to increase the number of Chinese visitors to Europe, whilst encouraging sustainable tourism and stimulating investment opportunities for Europe and China through a number of cooperative marketing campaigns. These campaigns will be funded through public-private partnerships, business summits, and around 5000 business-to-business meetings for tourism operators financed by the European Commission’s COSME programme.
It is hoped that the initiative will lead to an annual increase of 10% of Chinese visitors, representing a minimum of €1 billion per year for the EU tourism industry. Tourism marketing in China will be targeted at individual travellers, and encourage alternatives to the main destinations which currently dominate Chinese tourism in Europe. The Year therefore represents a key opportunity to promote UNESCO World Heritage sites in Europe. The 354 World Heritage sites in Europe account for close to half of the total number sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list and are considered as a key asset for EU tourism.
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