Breaking Travel News investigates: ITB China to debut in Shanghai
Martin Buck, senior vice president, travel and logistics at ITB China-organiser Messe Berlin, welcomes guests to the pre-launch press event

Breaking Travel News investigates: ITB China to debut in Shanghai

With the dust settling on another successful ITB Berlin, attention is now turning to the launch of new sister event ITB China.

Set to debut in May, organiser Messe Berlin is billing the show as ‘a bridge between the east and west’, with as many as 600 exhibitors from 60 different countries taking space in Shanghai for the inaugural event.

Such has been the initial response to the new conference that space on the floor is completely booked out.

Nearly half has been taken by exhibitors from Europe, while another third has been snapped up by Asian organisations.

Smaller delegations from Africa and the Middle East will also be in attendance.

They will be joined by the elite of Chinese outbound hospitality.

Speaking at the press launch of the 2017 show, David Axiotis, general manager of ITB China, told Breaking Travel News: “We expect 600 hosted buyers from more than 180 companies from all over China to visit Shanghai in May.

“Almost half of them will be final decision makers, while another third will be strongly involved in the procurement process.

“In addition, we expect 100 international buyers, bringing the total to 700 at ITB China 2017.”


David Axiotis, general manager of ITB China, details the event

The list of leading names expected to attend includes some of China’s biggest travel industry players, such as Ctrip, Caissa, Utour, and Alitrip.

The event will be tightly choreographed, focused on maximising the number of deals that can be completed.

Axiotis adds: “We have densely packed the show floor with suppliers and travel product from all over the world, covering the MICE, corporate, and leisure sectors.

“ITB has been designed as a pure business-to-business matchmaking platform, matching Chinese buyers to exhibitors from all over the world.”

This matchmaking will be backed up with a strong line-up of content from the ITB China Convention, to be held in parallel.

The conference will examine the latest trends in the Chinese travel industry, with a keynote presentation from TUI Group chief executive Friedrich Joussen expected to be among the highlights.

An exclusive interview with Jane Sun, chief executive of Ctrip, hosted by Phocuswright founder Philip Wolf, will also provide an in-depth insight into China’s biggest online travel agency.

Axiotis explains: “When we combine the two things, ITB China and the Convention, we see the heart of the event, the key to success for both sides.”


European Travel Commission executive director Eduardo Santander discussed his organisation’s objectives as partner country

Europe, in the form of the European Travel Commission, has signed-up as partner destination for the debut event.

A dedicated Europe Pavilion will host a range of private organisations, paired with strong individual attendances from major European destinations.

European Travel Commission executive director Eduardo Santander, explains: “ITB has long been the market leader in Europe and the brand is now going to establish itself here in China.

“We will support this event in years to come and I am sure the event is going to be a great success.

“Europe is an aspirational destination for Chinese travellers and no visitor is going to go for just one country – we want to present Europe as a single destination where you can see a great deal.”

Santander also looked forward to 2018 when the industry will celebrate EU-China Tourism Year.

“Between China and Europe there are so many connections, but there is a lot of misunderstanding and misconception.

“Tourism is the best way to build bridges between our countries, our people, and our cultures.

“That is the aim of the EU-China Tourism Year.”

China Eastern, one of the top three airlines in China, will be official partner airline, while the strong line-up is rounded up with the Jin Jiang International Hotels.

One of the world’s biggest hotel chains, the group will have its brands presented on the ITB China show floor.


As many as 700 buyers will be in attendance for the first ITB China in May

Following its successful introduction in Berlin, ITB China will also welcome eTravel World China.

Dedicated to online travel, the showcase will welcome globally renowned companies such as Amadeus, Expedia, and Booking.com to a dedicated travel technology on May 11th.

“China is one of the most important markets for Booking.com and we are absolutely delighted to be part of the first ever ITB China.

“We are looking forward to continuing to build new relationships with accommodation providers and offer value added such as Booking Suite, Travel Agents Tool to help our partners grow at a very competitive marketplace,” said Anthony Lu, general manager partner services China from Booking.com.

More Information

ITB China will take place from May 10th-12th at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre.

The three-day business-to-business travel trade fair will focuses exclusively on the Chinese travel industry, while the parallel ITB China Conference will offer the latest insight.

With the event getting closer, trade visitors can now register online to meet with exhibitors from all over the world.

Eleanor Hawkins