Travelport is part of a consortium selected by the European Travel Commission to deliver a marketing push to attract tens of thousands of Chinese tourists to Europe.
The winning consortium also includes Eurail Group and National Geographic working co-operation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The EU-supported project was initiated as part of 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, which is being led by the European Commission and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the ETC.
The project will promote world heritage journeys by rail, with itineraries and experiences developed by UNESCO and National Geographic.
The heritage journeys platform is co-funded by the European Union and promotes sustainable travel to World Heritage sites in Europe.
The journeys have been designed to reflect four themes: ancient, romantic, royal and underground Europe, with China a key source market.
All the trips are accessible using the Eurail pass, which allows travel between over 40,000 railway stations across 10,000 destinations in 28 European countries.
Travelport’s role is to utilise the company’s partnerships in mainland China to promote campaign content to more than six million people that fit the desired audience profile.
National Geographic will create a short campaign video showcasing the sites and heritage journeys by rail, which will be shared on its social platforms in China.
The CEO of ETC, Eduardo Santander, said: “We felt the approach that Eurail Group, UNESCO, Travelport and National Geographic put forward was unique, innovative and more than capable of convincing tens of thousands of tourists from China to come to Europe and immerse themselves in our culture and heritage.
“We are looking forward to working with the team to make the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year an initiative to remember.”
Travelport global head of destination marketing, Anna Au-Yeung, added: “We are proud to have been selected by the European Travel Commission, along with our partners, to deliver a project of this scale and importance.
“We believe this reflects the value our team, technology, and partnerships provide in reaching targeted audiences in China. We look forward to working with all those involved to set a new benchmark for transnational destination marketing.”
Eurail Group general manager, Carlo Boselli, said: “Together with our consortium members, we are truly committed to this new and exciting project to engage Chinese travellers in experiential, cultural travel.
“Synonymous with borderless rail travel throughout Europe, Eurail has become the passport to the geographical, historical, and cultural richness of Europe, through one of the most environmentally sustainable ways to explore it – rail.”
National Geographic digital development and travel director for its maps division, Frank Biasi, said: “Our audience is curious and wants to go further, exploring the world in new and surprising ways that reveal the richness and diversity of our amazing planet.
“Through these rail journeys, Chinese travelers can experience Europe’s world heritage easily and sustainably, through the EU’s exceptional trans-national rail network.”