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Opening the gate for China

Since the approved the aim country status Hungary has been waiting for ten years for Chinese tourist flow to us. The Goverment present measures orientating eastward awaken hope in many concerning the  powerful increase of Chinese entry. One of which ’ hardships is optaining visa.

The Major events of the last weeks in briefs:
Budapest has become the regional center of tourism of the Eastern and Central Europe-China Cooperation. Hungarian Cultural Institute was delivered in Peking. After 5 years The Hungarian Consulate reopened its gates again in Hong-kong. Many important discussion passed off to stimulate the relations of economy and tourism in China. Peter Szíjjártó, the Goverment Commissioner for Hungarian-China who is responsible for the bilateral relations, continued negotiations with the director of the Shanghai Tourism Bureau.

The procedures for issuing visas is slow

„There is no close correlation between the Goverment action and the mood of travellers. The reason why the chinese tourists come to Hungary is that they have toured the other trendy European destinations. Therefore their Interest has been orienteted towards East-Central Europe” said the excutive director of the East-Europe Express Travel Agency, Judit Lázár.
The owner of the company which has office also in Shanghai is an Austrian-Taiwan citizen.
They have dealt with incoming travel for more than 20 years to Taiwan, and since 2003 to China too. In the last years they have achieved 20 percent increas by their 6-12 day leisure tours to Eastern and Central Europe. Their guests usually spend 2-3 nights in Hungary. The most popular destinations are Budapest, Gödöllő, Eger, Dunakanyar, the Lake Balaton, and Heviz. Althoug they have worked together with several airlines, since Hainan stopped flying to Budapest, fewer groups start the tour from here. Experts say that there are no problems with visas, thanks to the effforts. Till now just a minimum number of passangers were rejected. The only problem might occur is the several months long running time, to which they can adapt.
The excutive director of the Atlas World Travel Agency, Dr. Eva Bottyan is of a different opinion.
The turnover of Atlas has increased compared to last year's  (trades came from the organization of vocational and incentive tours).
But according to specialists, If Hungary learned a lesson from other EU countries' example (e.g. Italy or French), and would finally decide about organising the visa problem, than the increase could be much bigger. Even multiplications of the now yearly 20-25 000 visa grants.
According to Eva Bottyan’s in the area of chinese tourism the travel agencies owned by the chinese have an advance, which oft running without a licence. This is belived to change since the Chinese Government is about to make severe decesions in favour of the suppressing of unlegal market methods. For example it is penalised if tourist guides receive a reimbursement from the bureau. According to experts our strongest competitors are Austria, Poland, and Romania in Central Europe.

The second biggest market dispacher of Asia

During the last decade it was not hard to produce a continual increase comparing to the initial couple hundred guests – said Robert Vértes, the foreign trade representative of The Hungarian Tourism Plc. According to him at the same it is unambigous success that asianwide in this days next to Japan, the second biggest army of guests arrive from China. It is expectable that besides the recent growths and trends this rankin list will be reversed by 2015. Although today the innuando of the chinese tourists, even besides the annual average 15-18 % increase is short back of the requirements. Which in respect of the 2012 figures meant 72 000 guests (+23,5%) and 128 000 guest-nights (+10,2%). The average staying time is 2 days onley.

Excel from the cacophony

The Hungarian Tourism Plc can expand their resources and toolbar on the marketing of tourism in China with the help of the international cooperation (V4 and ETC) – Róbert Vertes, the Head of the Chinese Delegation gave information.
 On the open day of the HT Plc the expert said in lecture: China is spoiled on the area of marketing, everybody competes for the favour of the travellers of this far East Country. We must excel somehow from this „cacophony”.
The representation want to start a campaign in 2014 aimed on the one hand, colouring the so far evolved picture hungarian country, secondly, addressing the age bracket of the 25-35 year olds target group which still does not know our country. They start the promotion for the trade and the public events and programs all over the country (like the Sziget or Christmas Festivals in Budapest) and this year they will give a much larger role to the newly launched website called „Weibo”. Which is the main base platform and tool of B2C (General Public Communication).
Besides these as an alteration unlike previous years they are inviting bloggers mostly when they organise study tours. In this way the information reaches a much wider and more desirable target group. The programs popularized through this channel and the formed image may also help increasing the number of guest nights.

They dont want of the double-bed

Chinese tourists prefer hotels with the minimum of 100 rooms, belong to international hotel chain. They are usually looking for separate-bed rooms with airconditional systems, with tea-, and coffe makers, most of the time they eat Chinese dishes, they gladly go to casinos, spas and boutiques of new brands.

Hévíz the connect builder

Besides- the Government commissioner- Gabor Papp, the Major of Hévíz continued negotiations on the subject in Peking and Shanghai in november.
It was not the first talks for Hévíz is China, as through the respectable chinese ambassador nearly for two years we have been maintaining a good relationship with several settlements of the country. Amongs of them with Guilin we have made twin-cityal cooperation – said Gabor Papp to our enquiry, by whom the Chinese market has gigantic possibilities in itself. So it is very important for Hungary to have a direct air connection with the country and the visa grants become more flexible. As for the latter one the past years pozitive changes have taken place, but still there are things to be done about the situation. Hevíz everytime puts this question on the agenda at every talks at the Chinese Consulate.

A dozen active tour maker

In the Approved Destination Status system presently 67 hungarian bureaus have the right to travel people from China, while  even of them only 12-15 are actively present in the Market.
Amongst them there are Group-Leisure-time-Trip-profiled and MICE Organizer Travel Agencies,as well.-in chinese interpretation,almost every group which represents a higher category qualifies of MICE,just as the so called „Study Tours” of  state employees. The present City Management has already received nearly 200 different Delegations from China, through the medium of Travel Offices. As In the interest of Evolution,they have been maintaining active relationships with the Consulates and taken part in Exibitions. According to the Mayor’s persuasion, Medicinal and Health Tourism are  two particularly worthy to be mentioned areas of Acquaintance, since the Chinese does not really have deep-rooted traditions in this respect.

Wagner Zsuzsa



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