Rising Chinese tourism to Italy and Europe is the subject of the 160th issue of Mondo Cinese (Chinese World) journal, the Italy-China Foundation has said.
Founded in 1973, Mondo Cinese is Italy's only scientific journal dedicated to studying contemporary China.
Titled "Italian Holidays", the issue presented Monday in Milan is entirely dedicated to Chinese tourism -- a choice that is borne out by the numbers, according to the Italy-China Foundation, which publishes Mondo Cinese.
Last year, 3.79 million Chinese tourists visited Italy, making the Mediterranean country the fourth destination of choice after Germany, the U.S., and France, according to data from Confturismo trade association and ISTAT official statistics agency.
According to Italian national tourism agency ENIT, 3.38 million Chinese tourists traveled to Italy in 2015, up a whopping 45 percent over 2014.
By 2020, China will likely be the country in the world with the most tourists traveling abroad, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
These and other data are analyzed in the "Italian Holidays" issue, which includes contributions from Italian professors, journalists, businesspeople and other China experts, as well as Italian Ambassador to Beijing Ettore Francesco Sequi and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Italy Country Manager Erika Peng.
The publication comes ahead of the Europe-China Tourism Year in 2018, which will officially kick off on January 19 in Venice -- "a key junction in the new Silk Road and a city that Chinese travelers particularly love", the Italy China Foundation said in a statement.