China saw rapid growth of tourists going to central and eastern European countries in the first half of the year, thanks to the opening of more direct flights, according to a new report jointly issued by the China Tourism Academy and Ctrip.
The report recorded 3 million visits by Chinese tourists to Europe in the first half of the year, marking a 7.4% rise year on year. In break-down, the number of Chinese tourists to Croatia and Latvia surged by more than 500%, while the increase rates were over 400% for visitors to Slovenia and Bulgaria and 300% for Estonia and Albania.
Favourable visa and exchange rate policies have boosted the surging interest in Central and Eastern Europe. In particular, it gives credit to many newly-opened direct flights to European cities, including the opening of the Shanghai-Budapest flight and the Beijing-Baku flight earlier this year.
According to the China Tourism Academy, the number of Chinese tourists to Europe exceeded 6 million in 2018, with Eastern Europe accounting for 36.3%, the highest share of the total.