The National Tourism Organisation of Serbia has been awarded the “Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award” in the category of “Marketing destinations in the Chinese Market” at the COTTM travel fair in Beijing. It has been the second prize awarded to Serbia.
At the 10th award ceremony, the NTO Serbia and NTO Montenegro, which have jointly presented their tourist offers at the fair, received the prestigious award.
The award recognizes the companies and countries that go the extra mile to accommodate Chinese tourists, and offer excellent products and services that meet their specific requirements when travelling abroad.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Serbia in 2012 has risen by 38% compared to the previous year. While during the first two months of 2013, the increase was 42% compared to the same period last year.
In 2013 it is planned that six tourist agencies from Shanghai start cooperation with Serbian tour operators, and to include Serbia in their offer.
The bilateral Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Republic of Serbia and the National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China with the aim of strengthening cooperation and partner relations, has also contributed to the rise of Chinese tourists visiting Serbia. Among other provisions, the agreement defines visa liberalization procedures for Chinese group visits to Serbia.
Last year, the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia organized the first official visit of Chinese tourists to Serbia from October 8-10 2012. The arrival of Chinese tourists is a result of the Memorandum.
According to the World Tourism Organisation statistics, the number of Chinese international tourists has risen from 10 million in the year 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Last year, Chinese travelers spent a record US $ 102 billion on tourism.
Travel experts estimate that Chinese tourists are looking for the new destinations in Europe. That fact could make Serbia and the Balkans a new popular destination for even more Chinese nationals.
Serbia’s booth at the COTTM travel fair is among the most visited. A large number of media and tourism industry representatives have shown special interest for tours in Serbia and are enquiring about information on Serbian tourist products.