The ITB brand has finally arrived in China: Around 600 companies, destinations, organisations and travel service provider from nearly 70 countries and territories are represented in China’s new three-day business to business travel trade show.
ITB China will take place annually on the grounds of the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Conference Centre in a partnership with TravelDaily China, China’s leading online news portal and event organiser for the travel industry.
The 12,000 qm area of exhibition space has been sold several months ahead of the event. ITB China is the Chinese off-shoot of annual ITB Berlin, the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show, and its sister show, ITB Asia, in Singapore.
The inaugural event has attracted around 600 exhibitors among which 28% are offering MICE products, 34% leisure, 31% Corporate and 7% travel technology solutions. More than one third of the exhibitors made their way from all over Asia and China to the first ITB China. Around 40% coming from European countries, 10% from the Middle East and some 10% from the Americas.
Dr. Christian Göke, CEO, Messe Berlin, said: “This is an opportune timing for the tourism industry to seize the prospects offered by China’s vibrant economic growth. ITB China has come at the right time. Our new marketplace for China’s travel industry creates an international platform with a strong focus on Chinese buyers and sellers and covers everything the industry has to offer – MICE, NTOs, business travel, tour operators, OTA’s and travel tech companies.”
The official opening was marked by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre attended by Dr. Martin Buck, Senior Vice President, Messe Berlin; Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission; Rungang Zhang, Secretary General & Vice President of China Tourism Association and Jane Sun, CEO, Ctrip.com.
ITB China’s exhibitors are engaging with 600 top-quality buyers from China. They are coming from all over the country to visit ITB China in Shanghai, representing more than 180 different Chinese companies eager to discover the product range of the show’s exhibitors. The list of confirmed buyers companies contains some of China’s biggest travel industry players, such as Ctrip, Caissa, Utour, Alitrip and many more. More than 10,000 buyer-seller appointments have been pre-scheduled before the event. In addition, ITB China expects some 100 international trade buyers adding the event’s buyers numbers up to around 700 from more than 300 companies.
EUROPE – PARTNER DESTINATION
Europe is ITB China’s partner destination and sets the focus on showcasing the variety of the continent’s touristic products. A dedicated Europe Pavilion will feature a multitude of national presences paired with strong individual attendances of major European destinations.
Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission said: “European destinations acknowledge the need to remain competitive in China. Only through deeper cooperation with Chinese authorities and an increased commitment of the European tourism sector supporting targeted joint public-private marketing initiatives like the partnership with ITB China, Europe will succeed in fostering more travellers from China.”
The European presence on the show floor is flanked by The World Bridge Tourism project (WBT), which is co-located with ITB China 2017. The WBT is a project jointly organised by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) matching 150 European tourism suppliers from all over Europe with the corresponding number of Chinese travel product buyers. The Europe Pavilion and the World Bridge Tourism are projects supported by the European Union as preparatory actions towards the EU-China Tourism Year in 2018.
China Eastern Airlines, being one of China’s top three airlines, is ITB China’s official partner Airline and will be granting exclusive air fares to ITB China’s attendees. The strong partner line-up is rounded up with the Jin Jiang International Hotels, one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, being ITB China’s official partner hotel will have its brands presented on the ITB China show floor.
Powerful conference programme
Attendees of ITB China 2017 are being offered an exciting conference programme. The ITB China Conference is the platform where newest trends and innovation of Chinese and the global travel industry are presented. It runs parallel and will be jointly organised with TravelDaily China. One of the highlights is the speech by Rungang Zhang, Vice-Chairman and Secretary General of CTA – China Tourism Association, China’s biggest travel industry association.
Mr Zhang underlined the continuing buoyancy of the Chinese market – both inbound and outbound, with outbound 122m travellers in 2016 (109.8bn USD consumption), and Inbound 138m (expenditure of 120bn USD).
China is now the world’s 4th largest inbound market. 11% of national economy now depends on tourism – creating 10.26% employment in 2016.
Mr Zhang says it is clear that the younger generation is the key driver for tourism consumption. Long haul tourism is growing, and many kinds of different tourism are also emerging.
He stated that tourism is increasingly “taking a lead in China’s economic growth”.
The impressive keynote line-up on the opening day of the conference is also enriched by a keynote by Friedrich Joussen, the CEO of TUI Group. An exclusive CEO interview of Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, by the founder of Phocuswright Inc., Philip Wolf, provided in-depth insights on China’s biggest online travel agency.
Meeting place for digital community: eTravel World China
The eTravel World China is connecting established, start-up online focussed and travel technology companies with buyers looking for the best technology solutions: Trade visitors can find out more about innovative products and apps for tour operators, the hospitality industry and destinations at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Conference Centre. Globally renowned companies such as Amadeus, Expedia and Booking.com and many more are among the confirmed participants presenting their wide product range to ITB China’s attendees.
The exhibition segment is flanked by a dedicated Online Travel and Travel Technology Day (May 11) at ITB China Conference providing attendees with exclusive developments on this area. In addition, companies have the chance to present their newest travel solutions to the audience at destination showcase slots to be held at a separate on-floor presentation area.
ITB China 2017 is taking place from Wednesday to Friday, 10 to 12 May, at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. ITB China is a three-day business to business travel trade fair that focuses exclusively on the Chinese travel industry.The ITB China Conference will take place parallel with the show and is co-organised by the leading conference organiser TravelDaily (www.traveldaily.cn).