About the Chinavia pilot project

The Chinavia pilot project was the first phase of the Scandinavian cooperation project, Chinavia. The project as a whole aims to make Scandinavian destinations better equipped to welcome and attract an increasing number of Chinese tourists in the years ahead.

From 2010 onwards, Copenhagen has seen impressive growth in the number of Chinese tourists. With double-digit growth rates, the Chinese market has become the Danish capital’s largest growth market percentagewise.

In 2012, however, Copenhagen and other Scandinavian destinations were faced with a crude awakening; They were largely outperformed by other European destination in terms of Chinese market growth. Despite positive growth rates, we were losing market share to other destinations.

The Chinavia pilot project was launched to gain a better understanding of this poor Scandinavian market position, and to gain better insights into the Chinese travelers in general.

The pilot project partners included:

  • Wonderful Copenhagen
  • Helsinki Tourism & Conventions Bureau
  • Stockholm Visitors Board
  • Göteborg & Co

Throughout 2012, the Chinavia pilot project carried out surveys of Chinese tourists to Scandinavia, European benchmark studies, market reviews and mappings of China’s internet landscape.

The research resulted in a five-report Chinavia Research Package, containing the reports as listed below:

  1. Review of China’s Outbound Travel Market, outlining main Chinese market perspectives to Scandinavian tourism.
  2. Survey of Chinese visitors to Scandinavia, with participation of close to 700 Chinese tourists in Copenhagen, Stockholm & Helsinki.
  3. Explorative Web Study, mapping Chinese internet landscape and providing a snapshot of Scandinavian online presence in China (or rather, lack of presence).
  4. Best European Practice Study, surveying the marketing activities of European cities towards the Chinese market and identifying European best practice.
  5. European Market Study, providing a statistical benchmark analysis of Chinese market growth potential to the European and specifically Scandinavian tourism industry.

The results of these research reports are unequivocal. They point to the vast potential of the Chinese travel market and strong appeal of Scandinavian destinations to the Chinese travelers, but the results also point to the great challenges faced by Scandinavian destination in targeting and servicing this market.

Scandinavian destinations are demonstrated to be largely invisible on Chinese internet and to Chinese consumers. The Chinese tourists travelling to Scandinavia have poor service experiences and generally consider the destinations inaccessible and inconvenient due to the very limited availability of Chinese language information and signage.

The research results of the Chinavia pilot project clearly showed immense room for improvement – and the importance of catching up and getting ahead of competitors. The Chinavia II project took its starting point, where the pilot project ended.

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