The Executive Secretary of Inprotur, Ricardo Sosa, reported that Argentina has been chosen as the only country in South America authorized by China to receive its tourists within the framework of a pilot program launched by the Asian country to relaunch Chinese tourism globally.
Sosa explained that the program has been in force since February and consists of the gradual resumption of group travel abroad for Chinese citizens through tourism agencies.
The list is limited to 20 countries for which group tourism is enabled, Argentina being the only one in South America. The rest of the destinations that will be able to host these trips will be Thailand, Indonesia, Cuba, Cambodia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand and Fiji.
The national official exemplified that after the announcement of the Chinese government "the online travel operator Trip.com, based in Shanghai, has publicly announced that searches for group trips abroad have increased by nearly 500%."
He highlighted the work being done by the Argentine Consulate in Shanghai, since its members have held meetings with outbound tour operators from that country, to find out in detail about this process of reopening group trips.
In fact, the first group of Chinese tourists will arrive in Argentina at the beginning of March, "their itinerary includes the cities of Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, from where they will take a luxury expedition cruise from the Ponant company to Antarctica," he added.
On the other hand, Sosa specified that he is already in contact with Argentine DMCs that have their counterpart in China to continue developing tourism promotion strategies with immediate impact, taking into account the announcement by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of China.
“From the meetings of the Argentine Consulate in Shanghai with Chinese operators, the analysis of the impact caused by the pandemic emerges, they indicate that the most affected were the middle and lower class, while the wealthiest sectors of society did not suffer an impact significant, which is why the strategy of some Chinese issuing agencies for 2023 and 2024 will focus on high-end customers and will favor destinations in Africa and Latin America. The inclusion in the strategy of thematic trips is also highlighted, especially groups of photographers and architecture tours ”, he explained.
While the most important challenge facing the recovery of China's international travel sector is the issue of air travel, since a large number of frequencies and a progressive normalization of costs are still required.