Shanghai/Berlin – The first ITB Chinamarked its premiere and proved its importance as China's new marketplace for the travel trade industry. Summing up the three-day business to business event: From 10 to 12 May some 600 exhibiting companies from nearly 70 countries and regions met with a total of over 10,000 attendees and buyers in the 12,000 sqm area of exhibition space, which had been booked up months in advance. These were the estimated figures given by the organizers of ITB China/ MB Exhibitions Shanghai on Friday, 12 May 2017, at the close of ITB China 2017.
Dr. Christian Göke, CEO Messe Berlin: "I am extremely delighted with the way our first edition went. Our new Chinese ITB brand was the focus of general interest to a great degree, especially amongst Chinese buyers. ITB China marked a special milestone with 10,000 attendees participating in this significant premiere and also showed how important face-to-face meetings remain in the digital age. We can look back at a very successful trade show and set the stage for ITB China 2018."
The ITB China conference registered high levels of attendance. A total of 2,700 attendees took part in the lectures, discussions and keynotes, given by 70 industry speakers. The keynotes proved to be major visitor attractions.
Over 10,000 pre-scheduled appointments between exhibitors and hosted Chinese buyers were realized during the show. The quality of visitors contributed to strong business outcomes for the exhibitors at ITB China 2017.
The spotlight was on the partner destination Europe, which featured a multitude of national presences paired with strong individual attendances of major European destinations.
Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission: "ITB China 2017 was another proof of the importance of joint promotion activities of the European tourism sector in China. Travel and tourism promotes reciprocal understanding, and in order to do so our Chinese customers must continue to be catered with the best offer in Europe adapted to their particular needs and expectations. ITB China has placed Europe higher in its agenda making a contribution to make our destinations more attractive and competitive. We are happy and honoured to have been ITB China's first destination partner for 2017. This has been only the beginning of the preparations to the EU-China Tourism Year 2018, an upcoming year full of opportunities and partnerships".
It had been quite busy three days and ITB China offered lots of fabulous opportunities for discussion, networking and making new valuable industry contacts during the Opening Dinner, ITB China Cruise Night and Aftershow Parties.
Meituan-Dianping hosted a speed-dating event on the first day of ITB China with more than 400 participants attending.The event enabled buyers to establish valuable links with Meituan- Dianping in the shortest possible time. The World Bridge Tourism project took place alongside ITB China in Shanghai. About 350 people attended this networking workshop involved hosting 100 European tourism suppliers who met with a similar number of Chinese outbound operators. ITB China also featured numerous on-site events, panel discussions and workshops that enabled visitors and exhibitors to engage with Chinese travel bloggers. They represented a variety of sectors such as adventure, luxury and business travel. The Blogger Speed Dating Event and the Blogger Lunch met with an extremely positive response.
The 2017 Start-Up Award was given to GolfVoyager who represents a revolution in the way that people book their golf vacations. The Award recognized companies that have turned dreams and ideas into viable business solutions with great market potential. Short-listed innovators from startup companies which launched their products within the last three years demonstrated their innovative solutions to a high-ranking jury comprising experienced industry professionals. In eight-minute pitches, the six finalists had to explain how their product will impact the future of the travel industry.
The new travel trade show offered services most valuable to all attendees: ITB China decided to make business and the trade show participation for both exhibitors and visitors easier in helping with translation services. The B2B show provided complimentary bilingual stand hostesses for each exhibitor. China's new marketplace for the travel industry sees the complimentary translation hostess service as a factor that sets ITB China apart from other trade shows.
There was keen interest shown by the media with more than 150 accredited Chinese and international journalists reporting from ITB China. As anywhere in the world, wechat communication in China is very important and the best way to reach Chinese media. ITB China has been using wechat as a communication tool and shared its news regularly in Chinese.
The date for ITB China 2018 is already set: Wednesday to Friday, 16 to 18 May 2018 at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. Next year ITB China will take place in hall 1.