With the proliferation of trade shows targeting China's massive outbound travel market, ITB China knows it has to offer a more compelling value proposition that includes buyer participation from some of China's biggest industry players as well as a strong seller and conference lineup for its debut in Shanghai.
Speaking at the ITB China preview event in Shanghai yesterday, Martin Buck, senior vice president of travel and logistics at organiser Messe Berlin, said: “We are entering a very competitive marketplace with well-established trade shows that have been around for a while. We are very conscious not only to offer a lot but also to deliver.”
(From left) TravelDaily China's Charlie Li; Jin Jiang International Hotel Management's John Li; Tuniu's Frank Wu; Messe Berlin's Martin Buck; ITB China's David Axiotis; European Travel Commission's Eduardo Santander; College of Europe's Eric Philippart; and European Tour Operators Association's Tom Jenkins
Apart from 100 international buyers, ITB China will draw 600 Chinese hosted buyers representing more than 180 Chinese companies from across the country, with confirmed buyers including Ctrip, Caissa, Utour and Tuniu.
Chinese OTA giant Tuniu will deploy 30 procurement team members to explore cruises, air tickets, hotels and tours, general manager of overseas sourcing centre, Frank Wu, said during the ITB China media conference.
However, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board's director for Shanghai, James Zheng finds the 30-minute pre-scheduled B2B meeting too long. “More than 600 buyers will show up but we only have 21 appointments for three days. It’d be great to meet as many as possible," said Zheng, who also hopes that the ITB China buyers’ list does not replicate ITB Asia's.
ITB China, general manager, David Axiotis, explained: “The B2B meeting number is fewer than what we had in the sister show in Singapore. We did it on purpose and have left quite a few slots especially during lunch time and in the evening for other networking possibilities.”
According to Axiotis, hosted buyers comprise leisure (49 per cent), corporate (21 per cent), technology (six per cent) and MICE (24 per cent).
Europe, which is the official partner destination of ITB China this year, will make up the biggest exhibitor contingent at the 12,000m2 show floor, followed by 36 per cent from Asia, 14 per cent from the Middle East and 10 per cent from the Americas, he added.
A series of keynote sessions by speakers including Friedrich Joussen, CEO of TUI Group, and Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, will kick off the ITB China Conference on the first day of the show.
Meanwhile, a new exhibition area dedicated to online travel and travel technology solutions, eTravel World China, will run throughout the show to feature companies such as Amadeus, Expedia and Booking.com, in addition to the Online Travel and Travel Technology Day on May 11.
ITB China will take place from May 10 to 12 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center. TTG will be the official show daily during the three-day show.