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Vienna concert screening in Beijing part of tourism strategy

By Yang Cheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-01 11:00

The world's musical capital, Vienna, has introduced China to its Summer Night Concert via a public screening as the city tries to attract more Chinese tourists.

"We aim for a longer duration of stay of Chinese visitors in the city, and actually the travel trend is going in this direction. Chinese tourists no longer rush through our country, but want to stay longer to experience the local way of life," Verena Hable, Vienna Tourist Board spokeswoman, said.

In 2016, Chinese tourists stayed a combined total of 329,000 nights in Vienna, topping its previous high in 2015 by 15 percent.

China has become the ninth-biggest source of foreign tourists for Vienna.

The Austrian capital is one of the top destinations for Chinese visitors to Europe, ranking fourth after London, Paris and Prague, but higher than Rome, Madrid and Athens.

"With the exception of 2009, there has been a new record in statistics since 2003 from international tourists. In general, our strategy focuses on growth in quality. For China specifically, we want to lift the average duration of stay from 1.8 nights to 1.9 nights until 2020," she said.

The city will strengthen ties with Vienna Airport to make Vienna a fly-in-and-fly-out destination, and cooperate with surrounding areas to make tourists remain longer, she said.

For the very first time, the renowned Summer Night Concert, performed by the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic in the gardens of Schonbrunn Palace was broadcast to China via a public screening on May 28.

Hundreds of music lovers gathered together in Beijing's trendy Sanlitun area to enjoy a free world-class concert and to experience the beautiful melodies from Vienna.

This year's Summer Night Concert, with the theme of "fairytales and myths", was recorded on May 25.

During the two-hour performance, the Vienna Philharmonic played classics of six world-famous musicians, including Song to the Moon from Rusalka by Antonín Dvorák, The Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and The Firebird Ballet Suite by Igor Strawinsky.

Holding the baton was well-known German conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach.

The internationally-renowned American soprano and opera diva, Renée Fleming, was another highlight, with her gorgeous voice and superb stage presence.

The Summer Night Concert screening event was organized by the Vienna Tourist Board.

Since 2004, the Vienna Summer Night Concert has been held each year for free.

As one of the world's largest open-air concerts, the Summer Night Concert has already become an annual highlight for Viennese and worldwide classical music fans, attracting up to 100,000 visitors every year.

This year's concert was particularly special as it is the 175th birthday of the Vienna Philharmonic. For many years, the concert has fostered a connection between Vienna and music lovers around the world.

Last year, the Vienna Tourist Board staged live broadcasts of the Summer Night Concert in Britain, Spain and other European countries. This year, apart from the screening in China, the concert had been screened in South Korea, Poland and Spain.

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