Tourists from China were in first place in Serbia in terms of arrivals in 2019, and not long after, the pandemic hit, which devastated the tourism sector. After the reopening of the borders, as well as the increasing number of travelers around the world, China also decided to open its borders, as well as to allow travel to other countries. Now the number of Chinese tourists in Serbia is increasing again.
China was in first place in terms of arrivals in 2019, and second in terms of overnight stays. The Tourist Organization of Serbia told B92.net that they believe that, in accordance with the new circumstances, that trend will continue in 2023.
“It should be remembered that Serbia was the first country in Europe to introduce a visa-free regime for Chinese citizens, and what makes Serbia even more attractive as a destination are the two direct flights that exist today between Serbia and China (Hainan Airlines to Beijing and Air Serbia to Tianjin)”, TOS told us.
The Tourist Organization of Serbia continuously organized promotional activities and promoted Serbia’s tourist offer in China even during the pandemic, when tourists could not travel to China or come from this country.
“Through our campaigns, we have ensured that tourists have enough information,” they say from this organization, and some of them they mentioned to us are:
We also launched a new slogan “Experience Serbia”, a new website in Chinese, a promotional video in Chinese, and now a new brochure is coming out of print.
We have won over 10 awards in China from the travel industry, Sina Weibo, OTAs (online travel agents) and leading travel magazines.
The number of followers on the Chinese network Sina Weibo increased 3 times from 50,000 to 150,000, we promoted Serbia in interaction with KOLs, (key opinion leaders), strategic partners such as OTAs, did live-steaming, etc.
We conducted over 15 live-streamings that had over 7 million views.
We cooperated with OTAs such as: Ctrip, Tuniu, Tongcheng, Fliggy, Mafengwo, with whom we did live engagements, signed memorandums of cooperation, trainings and the like.
“That’s why we can say that we are ready, and now that we are on the list of countries where group travel is possible, we have every reason to believe that the number of tourists from China will seriously increase,” TOS is optimistic.
The Tourist Organization of Belgrade emphasized for our portal that Serbia is indeed on the preferential list in the People’s Republic of China when it comes to tourism.
At the moment, the Tourist Organization of Belgrade is cooperating with several tour operators from China, in order to bring back as soon as possible, but also far exceed the number of guests from that country who visited Belgrade in 2019.
“The interest in China is great, for example, TOB, with the help of our consulate in Shanghai, placed publications and flyers in Chinese, and our capital is on the tourist search engine C TRIP. According to surveys for organizing group trips, Serbia ranks first in Europe. Finally, in the coming period we expect a greater number of direct flights thanks to the great interest in Belgrade and Serbia”, they told us from the Tourist Organization of Belgrade.
According to the reports of the Public Statistics Institute, tourists from China most often choose cities, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, Niš, Bajina Bašta, mountains and lakes, Kopaonik, Zlatibor, Palić and many other places for their trips.