In 2018, Madrid reached the third position in the world ranking ICCA (Congress and Convention Association) for the number of international meetings organized that year. And it is that the attraction of international events centers the strategy of the Madrid Convention Bureau, as explained yesterday by its director, David Noack. Within the foreign market, "for some time now a great effort is being made in China," he added. Along these lines, this public promotional body has prepared the "Practical Guide to Chinese Outbound Tourism" in order to adapt to the needs of this market.
Noack also stressed that Madrid, in addition to being the third largest European city, is also the third safest - according to the report Safest Cities Index 2017 of The Economist, which is a very important value for oriental tourism.
He also referred to the hotel capacity of the city, with 82,000 places currently, in addition to many others under construction, much of them in four and five-star establishments.
Not forgetting the improvement of air connections. There are currently 10 direct flights between Spain and China, and seven of them connect the Spanish capital with as many Chinese cities.
The Chinese market has great potential for growth. In 2017 there were 131 million departures from that country and it is predicted that in 2025 there will be 250 million. However, the number of tourists visiting Spain is still very low, with a total of 513,725 visitors in 2017. Of these, more than 150,000 visited Madrid, almost 22% more than the previous year and 3% of total foreign visitors.
According to data from Frontur, Spain ranks fourth among European destinations for Chinese tourists, after France, Italy and the United Kingdom. And within the scope of meetings, our country -Barcelona and Madrid, mainly- occupies the fifth place in order of preference in the Old Continent.
As stated in the recommendations section of the "Practical Guide to Chinese Outbound Tourism", Madrid is less well known in China than Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles or even Barcelona, and therefore proposes that the strategy aimed at this market should focus on "building a Madrid brand as a fresh destination for the Chinese MICE industry".
It also suggests that suppliers design a website according to the needs of incentive travel and meeting professionals in this market, which should be hosted in a Chinese domain, as many foreign websites do not navigate well in the eastern country.