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MfD: Czech retailers expect more Chinese tourists due to direct flight

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Prague, Oct 1 (CTK) – Czech luxury items retailers expect an influx of Chinese tourists now that a direct flight between the two countries was launched and they are ready to join other Europeans who spoil them even though they are difficult to deal with, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
The Beijing-Prague flight has been operated by the Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines three times a week since last week. The return ticket costs 13,000 crowns.
The Chinese are expected to partially make up for Russian visitors who still lead the nationality standings among tourists, but they have grown poorer due to the weakening of the rouble. They are no longer coming in big numbers like before and they also spend less money, MfD writes.
Chinese customers have a greater shopping appetite and one purchase costs them 20,400 crowns on average, which is about three times more than a Russian spends.
Chinese love shopping, it is “part of any trip a Chinese tourist makes. Parizska (Paris) Street in Prague is a big theme for them – French and Italian brands are in great demand and in Europe, they are still cheaper than in China,” Ladislav Cirhan, director of the Czech branch of the Freytag Berndt travel agency, told MfD.
Retailers from Parizska Street that offers the most luxury goods in Prague, including fashion, jewellery and watches, are well prepared for their clients. They undergo special training tailored to the target groups of clients, MfD writes.
“The dream of every Chinese is to see Paris,” Cirhan said. If they travel to Central Europe, they visit minimally two other neighbouring countries of the Czech Republic, he added.
“Groups of Chinese tourists spend two to three nights in the Czech Republic. Travel agencies take them mostly to the (UNESCO-listed) Cesky Krumlov and Telc and to Brno where they go sightseeing. Or, they are offered beer tourism (Plzen) or spa tourism (Karlovy Vary),” Katerina Petrickova, from the leadership of the Association of Tour Operators and Travel Agents, said.
MfD writes that last year, more than 211,000 Chinese tourists visited the Czech Republic, this year retailers expect some 270,000 to come.
It requires some experience to look after Chinese visitors. They are very demanding, they only want Chinese guides and they require Chinese food, Cirhan said.
He said travelling to Europe is not unaffordable for a number of Chinese. A trip of 12 to 15 days costs them 35,000 to 40,000 crowns including accommodation, the air ticket and meals.
Jan Papez, spokesman for the Association of Czech Travel Agents, said travel agencies also expect the new flight to raise Czechs’ interest in visiting China.
He said now, an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 Czechs go to China annually.
($1=24.266 crowns)

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