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Chinese travelers enchanted with Christmas markets

By Wang Mingjie in London | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-21 10:11
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Festive spirit

Robert Neuner, chief executive officer of Innsbruck Christmas markets, said: "There is a rich and lively atmosphere at the Christmas markets here, decorated by a sparkling sea of modern Christmas lights against the backdrop of the snowy mountains, which is a real draw for the Chinese travelers."

The Innsbruck markets consists of 195 stalls offering traditional Austrian food, mulled wine, local handicrafts and Christmas decorations. They attract 1.2 million visitors a year.

With an increasing number of Chinese travelers looking for local authenticity on their holidays, Neuner believes Christmas markets will become even more attractive.

As well as the more traditional activities, spectators can also take in "Krampuslauf" parades, where people dressed as monsters chase away "evil spirits".

Xu Jingfang, a Chinese tour guide who has worked in Austria for 14 years, is seeing more individual Chinese travelers in the markets seeking out the festive spirit and interaction with local people.

"They will usually taste the mulled wine and get some local souvenirs, such as Christmas crystal balls and wooden artifacts," Xu said.

"More and more Chinese travelers are choosing to purchase local handicrafts to help them reminisce when they get back home."

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