Spain takes pains to lure more tourists from China

on March 24 2015 | in Daily Headlines Trending | by | with No Comments

It is not customary in Spain to have white rice for breakfast, but the grain is now on the menu of buffets at five-star hotels, as more Chinese tourists vacation in the Mediterranean country.

Adapting menus to cater to Chinese tastes and offering maps and signs in Chinese are just part of a broader strategy in Spain.

Although the number of Chinese tourists has been gradually rising in recent years, the country needs to make more changes to lure a greater number of visitors, said experts at the III Chinese Friendly Cities World Conference, which was held in Madrid last week.

More than 100 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2014, according to the China National Tourism Administration. But only 288,000 Chinese visited Spain in 2014, said that nation’s official tourist board, Turespana.

The low number does not reflect a lack of tourist attractions. Spain is the world’s third-most visited country, after France and the United States. Last year, the country welcomed about 65 million international tourists.

Arturo Ortiz, an official at Turespana, said: “The late realization of the need to use China’s social networks to promote Spain’s image, insufficient flights connecting the two countries and long visa application procedures are the main reasons why Spain has failed to attract more Chinese visitors.”

Spain will streamline the visa application process so that it takes only 48 hours, and the Spanish government has reportedly held talks with Asian airlines to increase flights.

Read more at China Daily.

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