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Successful debut for ITB China

On its debut, ITB China has already established itself as China’s new marketplace for the travel industry. Dr. Martin Buck, senior vice president Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin, summarises events.

How did the launch of ITB China go?

Dr. Martin Buck: The first edition of ITB China was an all-round success. Around 600 exhibitors and over 10,000 buyers and trade visitors gathered on the grounds of the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. With ITB China we succeeded in bringing international exhibitors and Chinese buyers together. There were more than 10,000 pre-arranged meetings alone held between exhibitors and Chinese trade visitors. The presence of trade visitors able to make high-level decisions helped exhibitors to achieve good business results at ITB China 2017.

During ITB China the ITB China Conference took place. How was the response?

Dr. Martin Buck: The ITB China Conference is a key element of the new B2B trade show. Following in the footsteps of the ITB Berlin Convention, currently the international travel industry's leading think tank, this event gives leading entrepreneurs and experienced experts an opportunity to pass on concentrated knowledge and practical experiences to the growing Chinese travel market. A total of 2,700 trade visitors attended lectures, discussions and keynote speeches held by 70 industry experts. The keynote speeches were the main attraction for visitors.

Europe was the official partner destination of the first ITB China. How important is the Chinese travel market for Europe?

Dr. Martin Buck: Last year more than ten million Chinese tourists visited Europe. This figure will grow annually by 9.3 per cent until 2022. ITB China proved itself to be an ideal platform for the European tourism industry to undertake joint marketing activities targeting the Chinese market. Taking Europe as a travel destination as their platform, numerous countries and places hosting major European attractions presented their products and services.

How does ITB China differ from ITB Berlin and ITB Asia?

Dr. Martin Buck: ITB China is a format that focuses exclusively on business to business and the Chinese travel market, and gives access solely to Chinese travel companies as hosted buyers, whereas ITB Berlin, which was launched 51 years ago, is the most successful trade show for the world’s travel industry. In 2017 more than 10,000 exhibitors from 184 countries exhibited their products and services to 169,000 visitors. Boasting 760 exhibitors from 73 countries, ITB Asia in Singapore has established itself as one of the leading B2B travel trade shows in Asia, where 70 per cent of hosted buyers are from countries all over Asia and 30 per cent come from other parts of the world.

How do you see ITB China’s future prospects?

Dr. Martin Buck: We regard ITB China’s prospects as very good and are confident that we can continue to expand ITB as a brand, including in Shanghai. As already mentioned, the trade show was a big success and with it we have laid the foundation for ITB China 2018. The success of the first show also made clear how important face-to-face meetings are in the digital age. The Chinese travel market is one of the fastest-growing in the world and China’s lust for travel is increasing all the time. This trend will undoubtedly help to establish ITB China as the leading travel trade show for the Chinese market in the years to come. We are pleased to already announce that next year ITB China will take place in Shanghai again, from 16 to 18 May 2018.

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