If your travel business needs a refresher course on the newest
tours offered in the red-hot China market, the China International
Travel Mart does not disappoint.
As Asia’s largest travel show, CITM devotes two of its four days
exclusively to agents, tour wholesalers and media. CITM’s main draw
is that it highlights Asia travel and concentrates important
contacts all in one location. With the rising interest among
Americans to visit China, attending CITM is widely seen as a wise
investment in keeping ahead of the competition.
CITM was held in mid November at the Shanghai New International
Expo Center and is jointly sponsored by the China National Tourism
Administration, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and the
General Administration of Civil Aviation of China.
The event brought in 4,100 individual exhibitors in 2,300
booths. On average, Asia exhibitors account for 69 percent; travel
services 36 percent; hotel or hotel management groups 27 percent;
tourism bureaus 18 percent; tourist attractions 9 percent; airline
companies 6 percent; tourist cruise companies and Internet booking
systems and others at less than 1 percent; and other tourism
enterprises, 2 percent.
Most Chinese travel services are here, along with hotels,
resorts, wholesalers, travel services, publications and airlines.
Ongoing entertainment at individual booths includes dancing
exhibitions, fashion models, reenactments of historical events and
multimedia spectaculars. A variety of seminars on China travel,
marketing and tourism is also offered on opening day.
Of particular value are the individual booths from small and
large municipal tourism offices throughout China. Meeting
face-to-face with these tour operators, government organizations
and decision-making people can be an invaluable investment for
“CITM is a perfect place for American agents to learn about
China, as well as Shanghai,” said Jane Yang, a vice director with
Shanghai Municipal Tourism and one of the organizers of this year’s
show. “We welcome your readers to apply and attend.”
Admission to CITM is free to qualified travel agents and buyers,
although you must pre-register and be pre-approved.
The first day is the most intense and crowded. I noticed many
key contacts were present at their booths on Day 1 but not Day 2,
yet the second day allowed time for interaction and individual
business meetings. A good plan of attack may be to scope out the
booths that interest you most on opening day, then make an
appointment for detailed discussions. Most booths have a person who
can speak some English. Other organizations hire an interpreter to
assist for the day.
Expect to collect bags of gorgeous reference materials. The
560-page comprehensive directory of the exhibitors, which includes
descriptions, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and Web sites is an
especially valuable resource.
After Day 2, I left the show with a super-saturated course in
China tours and tourism much wiser and more educated on the many
smaller tours and subtle nuances of China’s myriad destinations. So
consider a fam trip in early November next year, and reserve a few
days for this show. It may just be a highlight of your trip.
Next year’s show will be held Nov. 1-4 in Kunming, with a return
to Shanghai in 2008.
|Tai Chi with a View|
With its early November grand opening a success, the Peak Tower is
now offering complimentary tai chi classes on Saturday mornings
from 9-10 a.m.
Hong Kong visitors and residents can wake up with the
traditional, invigorating morning exercise with stunning views of
the cityscape from the Rooftop Viewing Terrace.
Instructor William Ng has performed this centuries-old art, also
known as shadow boxing, for dignitaries such as Tony Blair during
his recent visit.
Organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, classes are limited to
30 participants and are disability friendly.
|More Marriott in Beijing|
Marriott International announced that in 2008 it will open its
11th Beijing hotel, the Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall, under an
agreement with Beijing Huhua Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. The
swanky 19-story, 615-room skyscraper will be located less than a
mile west of the Beijing central business district and near the
Ming Dynasty City Wall Ruins Park.
“We are very excited by the continued expansion of our portfolio
in Beijing,” said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of
international lodging for Marriott International. “We are confident
that the hotel’s outstanding location coupled with the excellent
design quality envisioned for the hotel will contribute greatly to
its future success.”
Amenities will include a lounge and bar, three restaurants, gift
shop, health club and spa, a 4,000-square-foot ballroom and several
unique meeting rooms.