ITB China The Marketplace for China’s Travel Industry 15 to 17 May 2019
The first offline event of ITB China Buyers Circle, a nationwide community for China’s travel buyers, has come to a successful conclusion from 13 to 14 December 2018. Located in Wanning, on Hainan Island, the event focused on the theme of “customized outdoor activities of island trips”. The kick-off event attracted more than 50 top buyers from the ITB China Buyers Circle to share their knowledge. ITB China is the largest exclusive B2B marketplace for the Chinese travel industry and will take place from 15-17 May 2019 in Shanghai. Recently, the show announced that it will launch the ITB China Buyers Circle in 2019, followed by the first of a series of offline events focusing on different key topics. Island trips is also one of the key topics of ITB China’s focus on "Customized and Themed Tours". Besides, the attendees experienced a fun surfing session, trail sailing and stand-up paddling (SUP) during the two-day event.
Mr. Cai Yun, Co-Founder of UniqueWay, pointed out: “The new generation of travelers chose interactive experience over sightseeing tours. Therefore, it is important to arrange appropriate extreme sports activities supported by excellent organization and professional coaches in order to not only improve the travel experience of tourists, but also help travel agencies to further explore the needs and demands of tourists." UniqueWay is a customized travel provider. With the help of AI technology and accumulated big data, UniqueWay has realized mass production of personalized travel products and services in a cost-effective way.
The Customized Island Travel Forum topic based on Sports & Outdoor Activities, which was one the highlights in the afternoon of 13 December, gathered experts from the international sports tourism industry, senior experts in outdoor adventure travel segments, key opinion leaders from traditional travel agencies and MICE practitioners to discuss the topics of “outdoor exploratory travel in international island destinations” and how to turn community operations and customer stickiness into market competitiveness.
Mr. Xie Qiuxiong, Director of the Domestic Marketing Department of the Tourism and Culture Broadcasting and Sports Department of Hainan Province, and Mr. Yang Zhibin, Member of the Standing Committee of Wanning CPC Committee and Minister of Propaganda, presented the opening addresses on the resource advantages of the sports tourism industry in Hainan as well as the sports events that have been developed and organized by Wanning to promote local tourism and culture.
Mr. Tim Thirsk, Director of International Business Development of SurfingWA, a surfing school in Western Australia, conveyed the cutting-edge concept of “family team building”. Tim explained: “Surfing and stand-up paddling are extremely suitable for family team building. Different from the traditional perception of tourists, it is an experience of low threshold and relatively high safety, which not only is great for all family members of all ages, but also helps improve the interaction and intimacy between parents and children.”
During the panel discussion, Ms. Wang Hui, Vice President of CAISSA Tourism Group, Mr. Wang Hao, General Manager of MIE China, Mr. Cheng Zhiyuan, Co-Founder of Benchmark Outdoor Travel and Ms. Lu Shenghua, CEO/Founder of PGP Sports, engaged in a heated debate on the “opportunities and challenges for sports and outdoor activities adapting to MICE and customized travel products”.
Wang Hao noted that as the demands for team building in MICE are growing, MICE service providers need to focus on the in-depth needs of the teams and offer light adventure and sports experience products that best match their demands. However, with the increasing transparency of products and channels in the internet era, service is eventually the core competency.
CAISSA Tourism also showed its optimism for the adventure and sports experience activities, Vice-President Wang Hui highlighted that adventure and sports experience activities not only have the social attributes of MICE, but also can be used as a differentiator of small group tours to meet the needs of young tourists. She also suggested that in the early stage, travel agencies may introduce some value-added products to drive the promotion and popularization of such niche offerings.
Furthermore, Wang Hui called on her peers to actively pay attention to the adventure and sports experience products, work together to protect product differentiation, improve product specialization and finely develop the segment of island trips so as to provide better service to tourists.
Looking back on the two-day event, Mr. Li Xiao , Sales Director of MICE Department of Shanghai Ctrip International Travel Service Co., Ltd., claimed: “The first offline event of ITB China Buyers Circle was very successful. Many thanks to the organizer for your time and efforts. I hope that in the future, ITB China will organize more offline events for the sharing and exchange of industry peers. In the meantime, I wish that ITB China 2019 would be a success and ITB would share its global resources, so that the buyers could achieve more valuable insights and results!"