ITB China 2019 officially opened its doors yesterday at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre, with high-ranking industry representatives having the honour to perform the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the lobby area to be followed by the official opening guided tour, starting – of course – at the stand of the current partner destination, Italy. Delegates and officials took time to stop and chat at a number of exhibitors’ stands, with highly convivial exchanges between senior representatives on each side. In addition to established exhibitors from last year, ITB China has been able to secure many newcomers. This year’s new registrations include National Tourism Offices (NTO) exhibitors from Azerbaijan, Philippines, Qatar, Romania and Zimbabwe, as the first-ever African NTO at ITB China, as well as Regional Tourism Offices (RTO) such as Penang, Piemonte or Marianas Visitors Authority and many more. Whilst European exhibitors slightly continue to dominate the exhibition space this year, the organisers see a strong growth in the number of exhibitors from the Americas participating in the show for the rst time, these include: The Bahamas, Chile, The Dominican Republic and Salvador. After a one-year break Jordan returns to ITB China in 2019. The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is this year’s Adventure Travel Partner and also a newcomer to the show.
European destinations reflect the trend of Europe remaining the number one long-haul destination for Chinese tourists. The European Travel Commission (ETC) again has a strong exhibition presence with 24 co-exhibitors participating this year. With the help of an initiative by Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR), Germany’s leading association for the digital travel industry and also a newcomer, eleven German tourism companies such as The German National Tourist Board, Saxony Tourism, Solamento or Sunny Cars are making a joint appearance at the new Germany Pavilion. The ITB China Market Introduction Programme, which was launched last year, has also been continued with VIR leading a delegation of 35 senior European travel representatives to the event.
Photo: David Axiotis, General Manager of ITB China welcomes HE Sen. Gian Marco Centinaio, Italian Minister of Agriculture, Food, Forestry Policies and Tourism to ITB China