Digital & China: a winning formula for the European tourism industry 数字与中国:欧洲旅游业的致胜公式

Tourism plays an important role in the EU because of its economic and employment potential, as well as its social and environmental implications. According to Eurostat, one in ten enterprises in the European non-financial business economy belonged to the tourism industries. These 2.3 million enterprises employed an estimated 12.3 million persons. Enterprises in industries with tourism related activities accounted for 9.1 % of the persons employed in the whole non-financial business economy and 21.5 % of persons employed in the services sector. However, the tourism industries’ shares in total turnover and value added at factor cost were relatively lower, with the tourism industries accounting for 3.7 % of the turnover and 5.6 % of the value added of the non-financial business economy.

旅游业由于其在经济和就业方面的潜力以及对社会和环境的影响在欧盟扮演着重要角色。据欧盟统计局数据表明,欧洲经济的非金融业务中有十分之一的企业隶属于旅游业。这230万家公司雇佣的人数估计达到1230万人。旅游相关行业企业从业人员占整个非金融业务从业人员的9.1%、占服务业从业人员的21.5%。 然而,旅游业在总营业额和要素成本增加值方面占整个非金融业务的比重相对较低,分别为3.7%和5.6%。

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President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani delivering his opening speech.
欧洲议会议长安东尼奥·塔亚尼致开幕词

The key question is how to increase turnover and value added in the tourist industry while respecting the highest environmental standards.  At first glance, this may seem impossible. But that is not the case: digitization offers the solution. The digitization of the tourism industry was therefore at the core of the High-Level Conference on Tourism that took place in Brussels on 27 September. The opportunities offered by the digitization of the tourism sector were underlined by the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani in his opening speech, who stressed that the tourism industry has the potential to add 5 million new jobs in the next ten years. This explains why, despite tourism not being a direct competence of the EU, the Institutions attach such great importance to this dossier, in the hope to revitalize growth, employment, investments and regional development in the European continent.

关键问题在于如何在遵循最高环保标准的同时提高旅游业的营业额和增加值。初看起来,这似乎是不可能的。但事实并非如此:数字化为此提供了解决方案。 因此,9月27日在布鲁塞尔召开的旅游业高级别会议将旅游业的数字化列为核心内容。欧洲议会议长安东尼奥·塔亚尼在开幕致词中强调了旅游产业数字化所带来的机会。他指出旅游业有可能在未来十年增加500万个新的就业机会。这就解释了为何尽管旅游业并非欧盟的直接竞争力,但欧盟机构却非常重视这一领域。欧盟希望能够通过旅游业的发展振兴欧洲大陆的增长、就业、投资和区域发展。

President Tajani emphasized that European countries should not see each other as competitors to vie for attracting foreign tourists, reminding that, for instance, Chinese tourists visit multiple countries on their tours across Europe. Therefore, the real competition is not between France and Spain or other member-states, but between Europe and the other continents.

塔亚尼议长强调,欧洲国家不应在吸引外国游客方面将彼此视作竞争者,例如,中国游客赴欧旅游期间通常游览欧洲多国。因此,真正的竞争并不在法国与西班牙或其它成员国之间,而在于欧洲和其它大陆之间。

President Tajani called for a coordinated approach between EU Institutions, Member States, local authorities and the industry to boost the European tourism sector highlighting the importance of managing the digital revolution and promoting tourism on international markets, especially China.

塔亚尼议长呼吁欧盟机构、成员国、地方当局和业界应协调一致,以推动欧洲旅游业发展。他还特别指出了驾驭数字变革和在国际市场尤其是中国市场上进行旅游推广的重要性。

China has been a recurrent theme throughout the conference. The economic and political importance of tourism between China and the EU was also underscored by Ambassador Yang Yanyi, who praised the political decision to nominate 2018 as the EU-China Year of Tourism. In this last public speech of her stint as Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, she spoke of the increasing number of Chinese outbound tourists, expected to reach 700 million in the next five years. She also recalled the audience of the strategic importance that the Chinese government gave to tourism, which is seen as a major driver of economic transformation and upgrading.

中国是在会议上被反复提及的主题词汇。杨燕怡大使也强调了中欧旅游业在经济和政治方面的重要性。她高度赞扬了将2018年作为中欧旅游年的这一决策。 在她作为中国驻欧盟使团团长的最后一次公开演讲中,杨燕怡大使谈到,中国出境游游客数量将不断增加,预计在未来五年内将达到七亿;中国政府对旅游业的战略重要性给予高度重视,视其为经济转型和升级的主要动力。

Another Chinese speaker was Mr. Zhu Xiaolu, Senior Vice-President of Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agency. He argued that within 20 years the levels of Chinese tourists coming to Europe will increase three to five times. He also made some concrete suggestions to increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Europe: increased European cooperation, better international train infrastructure, promotion of European cities in China, and lastly making traveling easier for Chinese tourist by simplifying visa procedures and offering services in Mandarin.

另外一位中国发言嘉宾,中国最大的在线旅行服务公司携程旅行网的高级副总裁朱小路先生认为,未来二十年,赴欧旅游的中国游客人数将增加三至五倍。 他还针对如何促进中国游客赴欧旅游人数增长提出了一些具体建议:如增加欧洲国家间的合作,更好的国际列车基础设施建设,加强欧洲城市在中国的推广,还有通过简化签证手续、提供中文服务使中国游客的旅行更加便捷。

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Mr. Zhu Xiaolu, Senior Vice-President of Ctrip speaking in the panel.
携程旅行网高级副总裁朱小路先生在分组讨论中发言

The round table on tourism innovation and the digital economy discussed how to increase, in practice, tourism to the EU. EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, responsible for digital economy and society, argued that a dialogue between digital and tourism can be a win-win situation. She mentioned that if we want to prosper we have to accept new technologies, however this requires new skills and therefore the Commission will support skills upgrading.

旅游创新与数字经济圆桌会议探讨了如何从实践角度促进欧盟旅游业增长。负责数字经济与社会的欧盟委员会委员玛丽亚·加布里埃尔认为,数字化与旅游之间的对话可以营造双赢局面。 她提到,如果我们想要经济繁荣,那么我们必须采纳新技术,这就要求我们掌握新技能,因此欧委会支持技能升级。

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Commissioner Mariya Gabriel after the conference in which she underlined the possibilities of Digital in tourism and the responsibilities of the Commission on this subject.
欧盟委员会委员玛丽亚·加布里埃尔在会后的讲话中强调旅游数字化的可能性以及欧委会在这一方面的责任。

Digital has also an enormous role in the promotion of Europe in China, for instance there is a huge opportunity for social media and specifically Chinese social media channels like WeChat in advertising a destination. Other digital products for example platforms such as Ctrip and Booking.com are having an enormous positive effect on the development of the tourism industry in the world.

数字化在面向中国推广欧洲方面也发挥了巨大的作用,例如社交媒体就为此提供了广阔的机会。尤其是中国社交媒体渠道,如微信在旅游目的地宣传方面所起到的作用。 其他数字产品,如携程和Booking.com等平台正在对世界旅游业的发展产生非常积极的影响。

Mr. Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU, summed up the discussions saying that the future of tourism in Europe eventually amounts to two key words: digital and China. He made the point that big data and artificial intelligence are extremely important to deeply understand the Chinese tourism market, which is extremely diverse, and allow tourism providers to offer more personalized travel itineraries. He argued that if the European tourism industry adapts to the new digital world, the number of tourists between now and 2030 can be doubled, stressing that most of these tourists will come from Asian countries with a fast expanding educated middle class, and China in particular.

中欧数字协会主席鲁乙己先生总结说,未来欧洲旅游业应着眼两个关键词:数字和中国。 他指出,大数据和人工智能对于深入了解多样化的中国旅游市场极其重要,这些技术为旅游业者提供了制定更加个性化的旅游行程的可能。他指出,如果欧洲旅游业适应新的数字环境,到2030年赴欧游客人数预计可增加一倍。而这些游客大多数来自中产阶级迅速增长的亚洲国家,特别是中国。

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Mr. Luigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU, speaking on the importance of China and the opportunities of Digital in the European tourism sector.
中欧数字协会主席鲁乙己先生就中国对欧洲旅游业的重要性以及欧洲旅游产业的数字化机遇进行发言。

In the end, the conference was a huge success both in terms of participation and recommendations made. Never before have so many influential stakeholders met under the same roof to exchange ideas and visions on tourism innovation. ChinaEU sees a bright future for tourism in Europe, granted that the EU is able to fully embrace the many opportunities offered by the digital revolution and actively tap into the potential of the fast growing Chinese tourism market.

这次会议在参与度和给予建设性意见方面取得了圆满成功。从来没有这么多有影响力的利益相关方在同一屋檐下会面,交换关于旅游创新的想法和展望。中欧数字协会看好欧洲旅游业的光明前景,因为欧盟能够充分抓住数字革命带来的诸多机遇,积极利用快速发展的中国旅游市场的潜力。