23 January 2020
Focus of the discussion: the great opportunities and future developments of the outgoing Italy-China tourism, the excellent results achieved in 2019 by Fiumicino Airport with over 900 thousand passengers to and from China and the focus on the incoming tourism with the development of the ADR mini-program within the Alipay App.

Fiumicino, 23 January 2020 – “2020: opportunities and prospects for Italy - China Tourism” this is the title of the round table organised by Aeroporti di Roma this morning in the T3 Departure Hall of Fiumicino, concentrated on the desire to strengthen the presence of Italian travellers to the Terra di Mezzo [Middle Land] and the opportunity of introducing the beauties of a country like China, rich in monuments and natural landscapes which have become, along with the Italian ones, UNESCO World Heritage sites.

2020, designated the Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism, coincides with the 50 years of successful diplomatic relations between the two countries, proven also by the number of passengers arriving at Fiumicino. In fact, in 2019, there were over 900,000 travellers to and from China thanks to 7 airlines that connect Leonardo da Vinci directly to 12 cities of Greater China.

Carlo Cafarotti, Councillor for Tourism and Trade of Rome Capital kicked it off: “We are celebrating the year of Italy-China Culture and Tourism working both for the incoming flow as well as the outgoing flow. As for Rome, we have a package of ad hoc initiatives created for the visitors from the Land of the Dragon: from the opening of a WeChat channel devoted completely to the Chinese tourists who want to visit the Capital, to the training courses of our hoteliers, to the digital manual in their native language containing all the information on safety, hospital, mobility and citizen tourism offers. This is because tourism is the most direct expression of the experience that one country gives to the other, and we want to make the trip to Rome unforgettable with the best hospitality possible”.

“This event opens the ADR celebrations for the Italy-China Culture and Tourism Year, in addition to celebrating the Festival of Spring with all the Chinese passengers that pass through the Roman airport every day. - states Fausto Palombelli, Chief Commercial Officer of Aeroporti di Roma. - In 2019 there were over 900,000 passengers to and from China, an increase of +17% compared to 2018 and in 2020 we expect to exceed one million. Chinese tourism represents for Aeroporti di Roma an important reality and a fundamental opportunity - continues the Director - to the extent that it is the first airport in the world to inaugurate today, with Sherry Lang, General Manager Marketing & Operation of Alipay Europe in attendance, a mini-program dedicated to Fiumicino Airport, created completely in the Alipay App with the objective of capturing and informing the Chinese passengers before, during and after the trip, on the services dedicated to them tied to luxury shopping and the airport experience”.

The first session of interventions on the tourism coming from China, included the participation of the ENIT Marketing Director, Maria Elena Rossi, the Chairman of the Unindustria Tourism Section, Stefano Fiori and the Director of the Consular Office of the Chinese Embassy in Italy, Zhang Aishan.  The second session of speeches focused on the opportunities and growth of the outgoing tourism of Italians to China and included at the round table the Secretary General of Fiavet, Andrea Canapa, the President of Quality Group, which encompasses some of the best expertise in terms of tour operations to China, Michele Serra, and the Commercial Manager of the MICE and DMC, UVET Events, Laura Mazzola.

New challenges, new osmotic paths will emerge from the Italy-China Year - states Maria Elena Rossi, ENIT Marketing Director - beneficial lifeblood for the Peninsula that is launching in the tourism field new strategies of innovation and centrality of culture within the context of the offer dedicated to the Chinese travellers. ENIT has developed a strategy of value growth based on sustainability in order to distribute fully an increase in the volume of demand thanks to an offer that does not prejudice quality but rather prepares one for visiting and enhancing even the lesser known places of the Bel Paese”.

Closing the conference was the General Manager of Marketing & Operations of Alipay Europe, Sherry Lang, who presented the mini-program devoted entirely to Fiumicino Airport on the Alipay platform, the most widespread payment app in China, becoming in fact the first airport in the world to create such an important project with Alipay. Within the area dedicated to the airport, it will be possible to get information on the Tax Refund methods, contact and book directly Personal Shoppers and learn about the broad commercial availability of the Tax Free Mall, the commercial space located in the E boarding area dedicated to the Extra-Schengen flights, famous throughout the world for the ability to purchase products of the major luxury and Made in Italy brands, with the direct 22% VAT discount on the product.

“Rome is for Chinese tourism a fundamental destination, starting point for the discovery of Italy. For this reason I am extremely pleased to inaugurate this joint project which will make the travellers experience even easier and I hope that it can serve as an example and incentive for many other airports in Europe” commented Sherry Lang, General Manager Marketing & Operations of Alipay Europe.

Six masters of Taijiquan performed at the conference. They entertained the guests with an exhibition of moves typical of this ancient technique of Chinese combat, characterised by slow movements which is a part, along with the language, the calligraphy, the Chinese cuisine and much more, of the immense heritage of the 中国文化 (zhōngguó wénhuà) in other words of Chinese culture.

Aeroporti di Roma, Company of the Atlantia Group, manages and develops the Rome airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino, and performs other related and complementary activities for the management of the airport. Fiumicino has two passenger terminals and is dedicated to business and leisure customers on national, international and intercontinental routes. Ciampino is mainly used by the low-cost airlines, the express-couriers and by General Aviation business. In 2018, ADR recorded, as airport system, 48.8 million passengers with over 230 destinations around the world accessible from Rome, thanks to the approx. 100 airlines operating at the two airports. In 2019, the Airports Council International Europe awarded Leonardo da Vinci the “Best Airport 2018” award. For the second year in a row, Fiumicino was confirmed in first place in the classification of the 20 European airports with more than 25 million passengers in terms of quality of services, technological innovation, efficiency of the infrastructures. The award joins the recognition of Airport Council International World which, also in 2019, for the second year in a row gave Leonardo da Vinci the award for “Airport Service Quality” as more appreciated airport in Europe among the hubs with more than 40 million passengers. The operating ability of ADR is also confirmed by the awards received during 2019 from Skytrax, the leading international rating and assessment company of the airport industry, which confirmed the 4 starts Skytrax obtained by Fiumicino in 2017.