A bigger ITB China 2018 puts focus on China, Asia as pivots to global tourism

In its second year, ITB China, compared to the inaugural event in 2017 witnessed attendee growth by 50 percent undermining that ITB China is continuing its success story.

“With its 700 exhibiting companies from 80 countries as well as 15,000 attendees participating and China becoming the driving force for the growth of the global travel industry, ITB China is establishing itself as the must-attend event for anyone looking to establish a strong presence here. The performance is a strong base which promises even more growth next year”, said Christian Göke, CEO Messe Berlin.

The organisers extended the hosted buyer program this year. In all, there were around 800 buyers at the event, which is an increase of more than 30 percent in the number of buyers. Diversity was very high again with Chinese buyers coming from over 300 different companies throughout China representing the full range of China’s largest industry players. 73 percent of the Chinese Leisure, MICE and Corporate buyers came from mainland China (outside Shanghai), 24 percent from Shanghai province and the remaining 3 percent from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. More than 15,000 prescheduled appointments maximised the business opportunities of both exhibitors and buyers. The organizers launched a completely new matchmaking system perfectly catering to the needs of both exhibitors and buyers using desktop, mobile, APP or Wechat interfaces.

The exhibitors came from 80 countries as far as Argentina, Brazil, Chile or the Middle East, such as UAE as well as partner destination Finland. Director, Head of Global Sales Promotion, Visit Finland said: “Finland was the partner destination of this year’s show. We expect this co-operation with ITB China to further strengthen our position in China. This year Finland was represented at ITB China by 28 companies around Finland with a delegation of 45 Finnish travel industry professionals. Our goal at ITB China is to promote Finland as year round destination and to introduce for example Finnish Lakeland Region to Chinese travelers. Travel from China to Finland has been growing too rapidly. We expect this growth to continue also during the coming years.”

The year 2018 is a significant year for both China and Europe, ITB China has been an official partner event of the EU China Tourism Year, a major initiative launched jointly by the European and the Chinese governments. The exhibition featured a high number of individual national pavilions from all over Europe. In addition, the European Travel Commission had a strong exhibition presence on the show floor showcasing a multitude of European destinations.

Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission: “Unity is strength. Europe needs 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, Europe will succeed in fostering more travelers from China. The strong cooperation with ITB China will help us reaching these goals.” Further key partnerships as part of ITB China included China Tourism Association, the largest industry association for China’s travel and tourism industry with 4,000 members, the China Tourism Academy, a research institution directly under the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) with a focus on studies in the tourism industry and Wyndham Hotel Group as the official hotel partner.

For the ITB China Conference, China’s recognized travel think tank, which hosted around 70 sessions featuring 120 high-level speakers informing about the latest trends and developments in China, the event was also a success. With a total of around 4,000 (2017: 2,700) attendees the conference registered high levels of participation and an increase of almost 50 percent.

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