Ma Bao Jing talks to BTN live at Beijing 2008

Ma Bao Jing, Manager of China International Travel Services, joins BTN at the World Travel Awards Olympic VIP Lounge at the Westin Beijing Financial Street. China International Travel Services is China’s the largest outbound travel agency.

BTN: How does it feel to be a part of the Olympics?

MBJ: Since the 29th Olympiad opened here in China we have a strong feeling in our hearts that our country has become very strong and also more powerful.

BTN: Do you think the Olympics will lead to more tourism in China?

MBJ: There are 204 countries participating in the Olympic Games which has given China the opportunity to welcome more and more countries to China. The Games themselves will make people more curious and want to come and see China.

BTN: Which are your key inbound destinations?

MBJ: China is a big country and we have a lot of cities to attract visitors. Although the most popular are perhaps the more modern cities recognised throughout the world like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. And from these three cities you can easily see how well our economy is doing.

As everyone knows China is one of the four oldest countries in the world and an ancient civilisation, so a city that can represent the key cultures like Beijing, Shenzhen and even those cities on the Silk Road are very popular.

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For more natural surroundings, the Sichuan province and the Hunan province, with beautiful pagodas and 9 tibet natural villages. You wouldn’t believe your eyes when you see these things!

Also we have Gui Lin in the Guang Xi Province, which is my home town. If you go to any of these towns you will see many foreigners, especially westerners, who are very keen on nature here in China, not just passing ones but people who have settled down and made their homes and businesses there they love it so much.

BTN: With the Chinese economy expanding, to what degree do you think the Chinese will be visiting abroad destinations?

MBJ: China opened it gates about 30 years ago, but with outbound travel it’s only been about 12 years, a very short time indeed. So I think that outbound travel has taken off very fast and will continue to move very fast. I believe the first destination will be South East Asia and then Europe. Also since July, the government has made an agreement with the United States so America is now more open for the Chinese.

With this experience the Chinese people have started to get more adventurous and look to more exciting destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and even Africa.

Last year over 15 million Chinese went abroad, including the luxury travel business, which have been getting more and more popular with the strength of the economy.

By 2020 China is predicted to be the most outbound travel country in the world. So my advice is to tell the world to start producing many signs and leaflets in Chinese so they can come by themselves.

If you’re a travel industry exec currently in Beijing and would like to be interviewed, please email [email protected]
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