Switzerland has been an attractive destination for Chinese tourists in recent years, especially due to their growing interest in winter sports according to a report by the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce. With China's ski industry expected to grow rapidly over the next five to 10 years, there will be greater demand for trips to ski destinations such as Switzerland.
Statistics from the Swiss government show that 2015 saw a 33% increase in the number of hotel bookings by Chinese tourists. It is part of a trend that has been taking place over the past decade.
China has for the first time become the fourth largest source of tourists for Switzerland, behind only Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SwissCham) has predicted that the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Beijing will spur more interest in winter sports in China, where the market is already worth an estimated $800 billion, according to the 2016 China Economic Report released by SwissCham in August 2016.
SwissCham predicted 170 million Chinese tourists will be traveling overseas by 2020, and 300 million will be vacationing abroad by 2030. It sees an increasing number of those opting for winter sport destinations, according to the report.
Chen Chen, who heads the representative office of China's National Tourism Administration in Switzerland, declared: "Both Switzerland and China are well-known tourist destinations, each with unique, abundant resources and experiences in developing tourism. With increasing cooperation between the two sides, we are not only supporting our domestic sectors but also the global tourism industry, as well as our bilateral ties."
Chinese tourists made 122 million individual trips overseas in 2016, up 4.3% year-on-year, according to data the China National Tourism Administration released on January 9.
In addition, more than 6 million Chinese are expected to travel abroad during the upcoming Spring Festival holidays, surpassing the record of 2016, according to a report by Beijing Daily in December 2016.
While the number of outbound Swiss tourists to China has remained relatively small, Chen says China has become one of the top destinations for Swiss people who travel to Asia. In 2016, around 73,000 Swiss tourists traveled to China, which is around 1% of the total Swiss population.
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