Tourism Series – Palermo Edition: About to Take Off: The Return of Chinese Outbound Tourism

  • Date
    14 April 2023
  • Beijing Time
    21:30 - 00:30
  • Brussels Time
    15:30 - 18:30
  • Location
    Terrasini & Online
  • Venue
    CDSHotels Terrasini Città del Mare, SS 113, Km 301, 100, 90049 Terrasini PA
  • Open to
    All European SMEs
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Chinese outbound tourism to the European Union had been a growing trend until 2019. More than 11 million Chinese tourist arrivals to the EU were registered that year, a 5% increase from 2018, with France, Italy, and Germany as the most popular destinations. On average this flow involved stays longer than 10 days with an expenditure of more than €1,000.

However, this segment of the market has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a sharp decrease of Chinese outbound tourism to the EU in the past years. With the current lift off of most travel restrictions it’s expected that Chinese outbound tourism to the EU will gradually recover. On 14 April, the EU SME Centre, ICCF and Sicindustria are organising in Terrasini, near Palermo, and online, a free workshop that will allow EU SMEs to get an understanding of the prospects of the international travel market and preferences of Chinese travellers, as well as to fine-tune their marketing skills and strategies.

Please note that the event will start at 15:30 PM (Palermo Time) for offline participants, and at 16 PM for online participants. The agenda is detailed below.

Agenda (Palermo/Rome/Brussels Time)

15:00 – 15:30 (For offline participants only)


15:30 – 15:40

Welcoming words
Brief presentation of the EU SME Centre and Sicindustria

15:40 – 16:20

Module I: Situation Spring 2023

  • Development of Chinese tourism before and during pandemic
  • Opening of borders and government regulations up to March 2023
  • Changes in the demand and expectations of the different Chinese outbound tourism source market segments in the New Wave

Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Founder and CEO, COTRI, EU SME Centre Expert

16:20 – 17:00

Module II: How to react to the new needs and expectations when dealing with the Chinese outbound market

  • New quantitative and qualitative KPIs to achieve Meaningful Tourism for Chinese visitors
  • Product adaptation & product development
  • Brand building and different forms of marketing: KOLs, KOCs, Recommendation marketing
  • Communication and distribution channels

Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Founder and CEO, COTRI, EU SME Centre Expert

17:00 – 17:40

Module III: Outlook: China outbound market in the coming years
Ways to stay competitive in the market

Wolfgang Georg Arlt, Founder and CEO, COTRI, EU SME Centre Expert

17:40 – 18:20

New trends in Chinese experiential tourism and the valorisation of the Sicilian territory

Francesco Boggio Ferraris, ICCF

18:20 – 18:30

Q & A session and closing remarks

About the Speakers
Wolfgang Georg Arlt
COTRI Founder and CEO

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS has for 45 years worked across the Chinese travel market. His career includes 20 years as a tenured professor of International Tourism Management and as CEO of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), based in Hamburg. Providing training and consulting for companies and organisations worldwide, he recently added the Meaningful Tourism paradigm to the toolbox for the successful and sustainable development of tourism for Chinese and other source markets.

He is co-author of the recent publication 88 Practical Ways to Prepare for the New Wave of Chinese Visitors. China Outbound Tourism Handbook 2023, published in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German.

Francesco Boggio Ferraris
Executive Director, ICCF Academy

Born in Milan in 1980, Francesco Boggio Ferraris graduated with honors in political science with a thesis entitled “China’s Rise of Power. A New Bipolarism?” He graduated in Chinese Language and Culture from Is.I.A.O and earned the HSK certificate of proficiency in Chinese language, furthering his studies at Nankai University in Tianjin and at BLCU in Beijing; he completed a training course from the Università Cattolica of Milan focused on teaching Chinese language.

Since 2009, he has been director of the “Scuola di Formazione Permanente” of the Italy China Foundation and since 2022 of the ICCF Academy – Italy China Council Foundation. In recent years, he has focused his efforts on the design and implementation of training courses focused on intercultural management strategies for Italian enterprises and multinationals in Italy and Europe, with a focus on the fashion sector, luxury and in the field of hospitality services aimed to Chinese tourists.

He is a lecturer in several master’s degrees, from the MBA “Doing business in BRICS” at the Luiss Business School to the master’s degree “Didattica dell’italiano L2 a studentisinofoni” at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. He is also responsible for the intercultural management module of the master’s degree “Global Management for China” at the Cà Foscari University of Venice, Orientale di Napoli, Roma Tre, Macerata and University degli Studi di Bergamo. He is a member of the scientific committee of: “Mondo Cinese”. In June 2015, he inaugurated the first Chinese branch of the Italy China Foundation’s “Scuola di Formazione Permanente” in Chongqing. In 2020 he published for Mondadori: “Business in China. Tools, Strategies and Opportunities along the New Silk Road”.

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