Chinese back in Liege20/04/2017

Good news for Liege Airport: the Chinese are landing in Wallonia again in order to visit Europe. An opportunity for the Walloon economy, which is delighted to see their return.

After a six-month absence, Chinese are returning to our flat country. Thanks to a Russian airline that offers a China-Russia-Belgium route, almost 100,000 visitors from China are expected over the next seven months. A blessing for Wallonia, which has already planned ahead: signs in Chinese, specialist personnel, duty free spaces tripled, certain zones specially fitted out, etc. The tourists are mainly elderly people who do not speak English or French.

As a gateway to Belgium, the airport's wants to inform Chinese about Wallonia, its traditions and its beauty. Presentation of Belgian wines, tasting and sale of waffles, everything has been done with this in mind. Usually, these travellers do not know Wallonia and will not visit it. The priority of tour operators is to visit the major cities of Europe, with Liege serving as the departure and/or arrival point.

As Dominique André, Head of the Promotion of Wallonia for the Chinese market, says, "We have to show Chinese the interest of having so much beauty in such a small place. For example, Durbuy is the smallest town in the world. Therefore, there is a great deal of cultural interest in Wallonia". The major challenge is managing to convince tour operators to put Belgian sites on their maps. The Euro Space Center is one such place, a great success for this exceptional site. Wallonia hopes to be able to retain Chinese tourists in Belgium so that they visit Wallonia's major sites. We also have to try to attract Russians. Because, with a Russian airline offering flights, the potential market is doubled. Very few Russians visit our country, therefore, it is a great opportunity for us.

Three weekly flights are currently planned and this number will progress to eight as of May. Soon, Chinese will be strolling around the streets of our beautiful country and will discover our precious heritage.

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