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Saturday 19 April 2014

France raises a glass to Chinese tourists

6th December, 2013 by Livia Xin

Chinese tourists travelling to France will find a variety of wine-themed tours with Chinese-language tour guide, it was revealed this week.

France China

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (Photo credit: Xinhua)

The announcement came at a press conference held in Beijing on Thursday during the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s visit to China,

Sylvia Pinel, French minister for craft industries, trade and tourism put a strong emphasis on wine tourism at the conference, introducing a series of measures to benefit Chinese tourists to France, Wine China reported.

She said tourism is an important part of the Sino-French relationship, adding that Chinese people have developed a taste for the finest French wines, and now there are an increasing number of Chinese people interested in travelling to France to get more involved in French wine culture.

Pinel said that from the beginning of next year, there will be Chinese-speaking tour guides and Chinese language brochures in some important Châteaux and castles, helping Chinese tourists to develop a more comprehensive understanding of French wine.

In addition and to facilitate Chinese tourists’ travel to France, the French government has carried out a numbers of measures, including simplifying visa procedures and the fast-track visa system.

Pinel said that China is an important market for France tourism industry, “I hope Chinese tourist who visited France before could still want to come back, and visit more often.”

Chinese tourists are now the world’s biggest-spending holidaymakers and account for one-quarter of luxury goods sold worldwide, according to the World Tourism Organisation.

Last year 1.4 million Chinese visited France, up 23% from 2011. According to a recent report by Reuters, millionaires in China rate it their top destination.

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