Exclusive Interview: David Axiotis, General Manager, ITB China
At this year’s ITB China, exhibitor demand is way above the level of last year, with a 50% increase of the gross exhibition area. ITB China is fully booked out with over 700 exhibitors from 80 countries presenting themselves to 15,000 attendees. In addition to established exhibitors from last year, the organisers have been able to secure many newcomers. We asked David Axiotis, General Manager, ITB China what else is “new” this year.
We extended our hosted buyer programme this year. With around 800 buyers we will have an increase of more than 30% in the number of buyers at this year’s show compared to 2017.
This year’s partner destination is Finland and ITB China 2018 is an official partner event of the EU China Tourism Year. Hotel industry giant, Wyndham Hotel Group has become the official partner hotel of the second edition of ITB China.
We also bring up two strategic partnerships with The China Tourism Academy and the China Tourism Association to enhance business opportunities and raise global awareness for the Chinese tourism industry.
WE WILL HAVE AN INCREASE OF MORE THAN 30% IN THE NUMBER OF BUYERS AT THIS YEAR’S SHOW COMPARED TO 2017
The ITB China Market Introduction Programme makes its debut at ITB China this year. The newly launched programme is planned for international travel industry professionals who have no or little experience with the Chinese travel market so far. ITB China Conference will offer everyone working in the business travel market an ideal platform for training and networking at the new Business Travel Day. The last day of the
ITB China Conference will be dedicated to the Education & Job Day in partnership with Fudan University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI).
Qyer and ITB China will co-organise the It’s My World Travel Awards 2018, honouring Chinese key opinion leaders as well as global destinations at this year’s show.
What will be the highlights of the ITB China Conference this year?
The exhibition is flanked by a strong conference programme with 120 top speakers informing about the latest developments in China. This think tank of Chinese travel will provide up-to-date key insights of these seven areas: ‘Destination’, ‘Travel Tech’, ‘Corporate Travel & MICE’, ‘Online Travel’, and – for the first time – ‘Customised Travel’, ‘Business Travel’ and ‘Education & Job’. The conference kicks off with the opening keynote speech by James Liang, Chairman of Ctrip. In addition, other top companies such as CITS American Express Global Business Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and BCD Travel, Merlin Entertainments, Mafengwo, Lushu, Abercrombie & Kent will provide exciting insights into their expanding markets. One highlight will be the ITB China Startup Award that takes place for the second time and which acknowledges outstanding new products and services that were introduced less than two years ago and which anticipate major market potential. The innovations are vetted by the ITB China jury based on the uniqueness of the underlying innovation. The Pitch and the Award Ceremony will take place on 17 May 2018 from 3 to 4.30 pm in the Conference Area.
As official partner of EU-China Tourism year, what will be the impact of this?
ITB China is the prefect marketplace to showcase Europe’s unique and diverse natural and cultural heritage and to promote mutual exchanges between Europe and China. The ECTY will enhance the visibility of the European countries as appealing travel destinations in Greater China.
Please tell us a little more about this year’s partner destination.
Finland appeals to travellers searching for unique experiences in their destinations as well as convenience and has proven that it is attaching a great importance in enhancing Chinese tourists’ travel experience. Finland is running a multitude of visa centers in China, working on e-visa solutions for Chinese tourists and has opened up for Chinese mobile payments systems adding a lot of convenience for Chinese visiting Finland. Its spectacular natural wonders, the summer cottages, the numerous lakes, saunas and thousands of islands and the land covered by forests attract travellers from all over the world. Visitors to Finland love the friendly and easy-going lifestyle of the country and the unique combination of sophisticated urban living and incredible natural beauty.
Photo: David Axiotis – General Manager, ITB China