Bologna first city in Italy to be certified Welcome Chinese: aim, to become the European capital for Chinese travellers

Bologna is the first Italian city to receive the official certification Welcome Chinese. The agreement protocol was signed by the Mayor, Virginio Merola, and the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Italy, Li Ruiyu. “During the last years – declared Li Ruiyu – the number of Chinese tourists has increased constantly reaching various millions of travellers. Italy has become one of the largest destinations on a European level, and with today’s protocol, Bologna stands as capital and European destination for Chinese tourists”. In actual fact, it means that Bologna – and soon also its airport – is preparing to intercept the fluxes of Chinese travellers towards Europe. An operation that starts from the receptive facilities, that will have to prepare to host a public that is different in habits, language and culture. 

There will be therefore be the need for translated menus, systems that accept Chinese credit cards (Unionpay), the capacity of being on the same social media used in China, but also many services that Chinese clients expect to find, such as for example free hot water in bars and restaurants. The Ambassador then hoped that from Italy’s part “there will be a simplification in the procedures for VISAs, to help the possibility of travelling and to simplify also other aspects regarding security measures.” 

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Welcome Chinese is a government acknowledgment that only allows the facilities thus bestowed to become part of the Chinese market directly through the support of the China Tourism Academy: in 2016 there were 122 million Chinese travellers in the world for expenditures that reached 109.8 billion. During the next five years Chinese tourists will reach 700 million strengthening further what is already the most important tourist market on the planet. In Italy 1.7 million Chinese visitors arrive every year, a number which is due to grow already during this 2017 with the ambition of becoming the first European destination.

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