The pair’s discussion ranged from co-operation in streamlining visa issuance to improving destination visibility through marketing, and strengthening partnerships with the local industry. For the leading international OTA headquartered in China, with 300 million users on its platforms in the country, the talks additionally opened up possibilities for collaboration with Italy in the 2020 Sino-Italian Year of Culture and Tourism.
Building on a series of partnerships, ranging from the Italian Government Tourist Board (ENIT) to regional agreements with Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria and industry collaborations with FIAVET, Federturismo Confindustria, Trenitalia, Rome Airport, Milan Airport, and Museo Ferrari, the talks usher in a new phase for integrated collaboration between the country and the leading OTA, serving over 400 million users worldwide via its platforms.
According to Trip.com Group statistics, most travelers prefer longer in-depth trips to Italy, with 45% of travelers spending between 8-14 days in the country. 65% of travelers choose 4 star hotels or above, and spend an average of more RMB 10,000 (EUR 1,300) on flights and accommodation alone.
While most holiday itineraries continue to include tourist hotspots such as Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice and Naples, Trip.com Group will continue to work with Italy to improve the visibility of less-travelled destinations. Building upon existing partnerships with local governments, tourism boards and industry, Trip.com Group aims to integrate its platforms with in-destination services, such as restaurant reviews and bookings, things-to-do, and shopping. The partners also engaged in initial discussions regarding the possibilities of streamlined visa applications for VIP and corporate users on its platforms.
Following the meeting with Minister Franceschini, Ms. Sun also met with Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT) Ms. Lorenza Bonaccorsi to further discussions, in the margin of the official inauguration of the Italy-China Culture and Tourism Year.
“Tourism is an important asset for the Italian economy, accounting for 13% of Italy’s GDP and employing 4.2 million people,” said Undersecretary of State Ms. Bonaccorsi. “We welcome all efforts of Trip.com Group to bring Chinese tourists — a growing source of International tourism — to explore lesser-known destinations and boost new forms of cultural and experiential tourism.”
“Italy is such a unique destination, and we’re excited to be building upon our strong partnerships here to offer better services to our customers, and to help Italy’s less-travelled but equally noteworthy destinations to share their charm with the world,” said Trip.com Group CEO Jane Sun. “We look forward to working more closely together with Italy to deliver the perfect travel experience to our customers.”