Lebanon Businessnews News

Chinese tourists targeted by ministry
Group tourism offers to start next year
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The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is preparing a strategy targeting mass tourism, especially from China.

Nada Sardouk, Director General of the MoT, said that the country has been an ‘approved destination’ by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2006. “We haven’t been able to attract Chinese tourists since then, due to security conditions,” she said.

“We are focusing more on rural tourism, which is essential for group visits,” Sardouk said. According to her, the country will be able to start welcoming groups starting next year.

The MoT is working with the General Security to facilitate visa procedures. It is also collaborating with travel agencies to prepare appropriate packages and tours, involving touristic sites, shopping, and rural visits. “These destinations are main attractions for the Chinese. We will be able to host groups from eight to 1,000 people each,” she said.

Sardouk said that if this strategy is successful, the same model will be applied to other countries, such as Russia and Germany.

According to Bloomberg, Chinese tourists spent $165 billion outside their country last year and they numbered 109 million. According to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, outbound tourism from China will reach 174 million, with $264 billion expected to be spent on shopping, by 2019.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Apr 02, 2015
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