The aim of the visit is to explore opportunities to attract more Chinese tourists and corporate visitors to Amsterdam in the years to come. The delegation will consult with a number of parties during the visit, including several large travel organisations.

Alderperson Gehrels: ‘Chinese tourism is undoubtedly a growth market and there are inherent opportunities for Amsterdam. The majority of visitors to Amsterdam are currently from the USA and Europe, but this is set to change in the coming decades. We want to stay ahead of the game by already focusing our efforts on the developments in China. Companies such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and KLM play an important role in this, alongside Amsterdam’s cultural highlights including Van Gogh and Rembrandt.’

160,000 Chinese tourists visited the Netherlands in 2011 and about 90% of these tourists visited Amsterdam during their stay. 

Amsterdam: from start to finish

Amsterdam wants to present itself in China as the city in which a visit to Europe begins and ends. The majority (40%) of Chinese tourism is accounted for by city breaks. Chinese tourists often travel in groups and visit multiple destinations within Europe during their stay. Amsterdam is perfectly situated to facilitate such a trip: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol offers direct flights to 7 cities in China, the most direct links of all European airports.

2013 celebrations

During their visit, the delegation is particularly keen to promote the celebrations planned in Amsterdam for 2013. Amsterdam has plenty to celebrate in 2013, including the 400-year anniversary of the Canal Ring, the reopening of the fully renovated Rijksmuseum and the 125th anniversary of both the Concertgebouw itself and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Chinese companies

Alderperson Gehrels will also visit various Chinese companies during the working visit. Amsterdam is keen to strengthen relations with companies that already have offices located in the region and to encourage other companies to open offices in the region. To this end, Gehrels will meet with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to discuss the collaborative effort to increase the number of Chinese companies investing in the Netherlands. The largest bank in the world, ICBC opened an office in Amsterdam in 2011. The City of Amsterdam has also organised a corporate event for the Chinese business world during the visit, centred on a performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in China.

The number of the new international companies in Amsterdam has risen dramatically in recent years. 118 new international companies opened offices in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area in 2011, resulting in more than 1,200 new jobs. The advance of Asian companies into the Amsterdam Area has been visible for several years now. Nine new Chinese companies opened offices in the region in 2011 and 76 Chinese companies currently have offices in the Amsterdam Area.

City of Amsterdam Press Office, 18 February 2012