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French agency launches campaign to lure Chinese wine enthusiasts

(Xinhua)

08:05, July 13, 2012

BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese tourists traveling to France will find a variety of wine-themed tours to choose from following the Thursday launch of a wine and culture promotional campaign by Atout France, a French tourism agency.

Wandering through a vineyard, visiting wine cellars and sampling goblets of fine wine will be part of the tours, said the agency, adding that the campaign will last until the end of December this year.

For Chinese travelers, the most famed wine regions in France are Bordeaux and Burgundy, known for their red wine.

The agency on Thursday provided a list of wine tours in Cognac, Champagne and Provence, which are known for brandy, sparkling wine and rose wine, respectively.

The agency will work with everal Chinese travel agencies and arrange guided group tours to the regions.

"Chinese have shown great interest in traveling abroad over the last few years, and now they are eager to get more involved in local culture," said Li Xiaolou, a public relations officer at the agency's Beijing office.

According to the agency, some of the wineries in Bordeaux and Burgundy will provide Chinese-speaking tour guides.

More than one million Chinese tourists visited France last year, the agency said. The figure has grown at an annual rate 25 percent over the last two years.

Although China is not a traditional market for French wine, French winemakers are trying to diversify their markets amid the sluggish global economy.

China is now the third-largest purchaser of French wine after the United States and Britain, according to the French Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters.

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