On the initiative of the STBMA ski lift company in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc and on the invitation of a Chinese tourism and outdoor sports company, Didier JOSEPHE, Director of the Tourist Office in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, representing Jean-Marc PEILLEX, Mayor of Saint – Gervais, Alexandre MERLIN, Executive Director of the STBMA, and Oriane TIAN, in charge of business development at the STBMA, were on a mission in Jiangshan, a town located 450 km southeast of Shanghai, from 21st to 24th September. Jiangshan, in the province of Zhejiang (55,643,000 inhabitants), boasts a rich cultural, historical and natural heritage. Here, certain natural sites are classified World Heritage by UNESCO.
This mission was intended to create institutional relationships in the tourism sector with the town of Jiangshan and a business relationship with a Chinese company that specializes in outdoor activities and whose digital platform database has topped 10 million users.
This double mission, institutional and commercial, helped to define areas of collaboration to enable both parties to exchange expertise in tourist development and promotion and to prepare the reception of groups of Chinese clients in Saint- Gervais Mont-Blanc. Hosting will initially take place during the summer season for the practice of different mountain sports. However, the STBMA also wishes to organize the reception of groups during the winter season with their new Chinese business partner.
Tourism officials from Saint-Gervais and Jiangshan signed an agreement making it possible to promote their destinations on their reciprocal markets. As a result, the Saint-Gervais Tourist Office now benefits from permanent correspondents in China, a considerable asset in their Chinese market entry strategy.
At the request of their Chinese counterparts, the STBMA and the Tourist Office in Saint – Gervais Mont-Blanc will also consider the possibility to organize specific sporting events for Chinese customers and to host Chinese customers for certain existing events. Outdoor activities are undergoing exponential development in China. An estimated 80 million Chinese now practice outdoor activities. The country boasts nearly 7 million skiers and the Government wants to encourage 300 million people to practice winter sports in the run up to the 2022 Olympic Games.
This represents a considerable opportunity for Saint-Gervais and its tourism professionals (Ski Lift Company, thermal baths, mountain guides, ski instructors and accommodation hosts). What Saint-Gervais has to offer meets the expectations of the Chinese market whose tourist interests also focus on natural, historical and cultural heritage, well-being and gastronomy.
Following this mission, the Tourist Office and the STBMA, associated with local partners, will develop a plan of action to implement the strategic objectives discussed with their Chinese counterparts. Promotional tools, particularly on Chinese social networks, should soon be in place.
Jean-Marc Peillex, Mayor of Saint-Gervais and Vice President of the Haute-Savoie County Council, enthusiastically underlines that Chinese media, including television, largely covered this meeting in Jiangshan, a factor that has already contributed to the promotion of the Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc among the Chinese public.
Didier Josephe, Director of the Tourist Office in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc
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Alexandre Merlin, Executive Director of the STBMA
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