Number of Chinese tourists up 69 percent on year; Ronaldo fronts campaign
The number of Chinese tourists who visited Portugal in the first half of 2014 was up 69 percent on the same period of 2013 at some 55,000, and they spent more than twice as much, at €33 million, according to an official study whose findings were published by Lusa News Agency.
The study was commissioned in the run-up to the major tourism fair which took place in Shanghai from 14 to 16 November, which Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, attended. The visit included the launch of a new marketing campaign for China, fronted by Cristiano Ronaldo or ‘C Luo’, as the Real Madrid star is known in China, where he is by far the best known Portuguese.
The first permanent representative of Portugal’s national tourist board, Inês Cunha Alves, also started work this week. Alves has worked in and with China for almost a decade, and was among those responsible for Portugal’s pavilion at the 2010 World Fair in Shanghai.
The latest surge in the number of Chinese tourists comes after four years in which it more than tripled, to 74,000 last year – despite there being no direct air link between the two countries. Yet that total was barely 1 percent of the almost 100 million who travelled outside mainland China last year, suggesting that there is still huge potential.