Since August, three round trips per week have been made between Nice and Beijing without stopovers. It is a new window into tourism and trade relations between two countries, two cities, two peoples. On the French Riviera, professionals in the hotel, restaurant, leisure and cultural sectors now have great opportunities to benefit from the influx of Chinese tourists.
Doubling of stays
Strictly speaking, these Chinese tourists are not new to Nice and the French Riviera, which are places they have loved to visit for many years. Chinese travelers already represent 15 to 20% of visitors to the French Riviera. However, the opening of the Nice-Beijing direct line already represents a “30% increase in Chinese customers in Nice this first year” according to Christian Estrosi, President of the Nice French Riviera Metropolitan Area. The objective by 2025 would be to more than double the number of Chinese visitors from 115,000 to 250,000.
This first month of September after the airline opened has already had a positive effect, producing the best tourism figures for Nice according to Rudy Sales, tourism manager for the Nice French Riviera metropolitan area.
French Riviera’s DMC agencies in the spotlight
Chinese tourists seem to be ready for off-season stays (which is what tourism managers want to promote), and they also come to Nice for work. Business tourism specialists in the region are ready to meet the growing demand for incentive stays, seminars, product presentations, for Chinese companies that come to invest in France and prefer to enjoy the French Riviera on these occasions. Many DMC agencies have decided, with the support of the tourist development agency Atout France, to bring themselves up to date to welcome Chinese business trips.
Chinese communication agencies at work
To support the media coverage of the opening of the Nice-Beijing line, both France and China have put in the resources. The French Riviera France Regional Tourism Committee has invested 100,000 euros in the Chinese market to attract tourists to Nice. At the same time, China had ensured that the first flight was exclusively composed of specific passengers: on August 2, influencers and other journalists landed at Nice Airport to relay the event. Finally, this month in Shanghai (next city to offer a direct line with Nice) the Tourism France China exhibition will be held to further stimulate the French Riviera touristic market in China.