Argentina gears up to welcome Chinese visitors

If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then maybe the same applies to China's growing number of globetrotters.

Argentina is banking on the old adage to attract more Chinese tourism, and the strategy is part of "Hilton Huanying" program that derives from the Chinese word for "welcome."

The program is backed by research that revealed the preferences of today's Chinese travelers, including starting the day with a traditional breakfast featuring a range of rice congee, steamed buns, shrimp dumplings and hard-boiled eggs, among others.

The program is an initiative already in place at more than 150 Hilton hotels around the world, but relatively new to the property in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, the first Latin American city to offer it.

"We are very proud to be part of the Hilton Huanying program here in Buenos Aires," director of sales and marketing at Hilton Buenos Aires, Mariano Cannello, told Xinhua.

"We see it as a great opportunity to welcome Chinese travelers with the standards of personalized service we know they expect and enjoy," Cannello added.

According to the hotel, after the program was launched, bookings by Chinese tourists rose 160 percent per night compared to last year, with an average stay by Chinese tourists of 2.15 nights.

Gonzalo Tordini, head of educational affairs at the Latin American Center on Chinese Political and Economic Studies, said Argentina is keen to tap into China's booming outbound tourism to help its flagging domestic economy.

"Tourists generate benefits for the countries they visit, being an important source of services' exports," said Tordini.

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