Q1 2020

28 LATIN AMERICA NEWS / Q1 2020 , Collaborations In The Tourism Sector Argentina welcomes Chinese travellers with open arms. Trip.com Group Chairman and Co- founder James Liang recently met with Argentine Minister of Tourism and Sports Dr. Matías Lammens in the capital of Buenos Aires to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the tourism sector. The meeting opened up possibilities for collaboration in areas ranging from destination marketing surrounding key events such as the Copa América, to the development of new products, including tour packages surrounding Antartica and Latin America. The pair also discussed provisions for breaking down barriers to travel, such as the implementation of visa concessions. The partnership comes as Argentina works to ramp up inbound tourism, and looks to the increasing number of Chinese travellers seeking unforgettable Latin American getaways to drive this growth. “Tourism is an important aspect of our economy,” said Argentine Minister of Tourism and Sports Dr. Matías Lammens. “For sports fans, Antarctic explorers and leisure travelers alike, we have so much to offer. We look forward to working with the leading travel provider Trip.com Group to share our country with the travellers of the world.” Trip.com Group, which serves 400 million users worldwide on its platforms, including 300 million users in Mainland China alone, has observed promising growth in Chinese arrivals in Argentina over the past few years. Data shows that Argentina-bound flight bookings and hotel reservations both increased by more than 100% year-on-year in 2019. The destination was also one of the fastest growing overseas destinations among customers of Trip.com Group platforms in 2018. Home to world-famous football and sporting tournaments, rich natural assets and exclusive cultural resources, Argentina has no shortage of selling points for Chinese outbound tourists. Distance, accessibility and cost, however, have in the past presented obstacles to developing the inbound tourism industry. As part of the partnership, the two parties will work to improve the country’s capacity to host outbound Chinese travellers, through the implementation of visa concessions, and provision of regional tour packages. “Chinese tourists have a growing appetite for in-depth and experience-oriented travel,” said Trip.com Group Chairman James Liang. “As an exotic Latin American destination, with a host of world-famous sporting events and close proximity to Antartica, Argentina possesses a wealth of potential to become a favorite longer-stay, in-depth holiday hotspot, and a core destination as part of regional itineraries.” Trip.com Group Chairman James Liang and Argentine Minister of Tourism and Sports Dr. Matías Lammens also shared their confidence in the long-term prospects for tourism, noting that present setbacks would not hinder the development of people-to- people exchanges between the two countries. “Argentina welcomes Chinese tourists with open arms,” said Lammens. “We are grateful for the support of Argentina at this difficult time, and are confident of a strong recovery for the tourism industry, with long-term, sustainable growth to come,” said Liang.