Europe pavilion to be largest at ITB China – but Brits shy away

EUROPE will have the largest pavilion at ITB China in May, but as with last year’s show it’s likely to be without Brexit-bound United Kingdom, writes Martin Donovan.

The second edition of Messe Berlin’s ITB China takes place at Shanghai World Expo and Exhibition Centre , May 16-18, with the show being an official partner event of EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY).

The partnership between the European Union’s travel commission and Chinese tourism authorities is designed to help the travel industry in Europe and China while encouraging commercial and cultural exchanges.

The 2017 show saw no British presence on the European Pavilion with the inaugural ITB China following the results of the UK referendum in 2016, which voted to leave the European Union. 

How European travel leaders reacted to Brexit

David Axiotis, general manager of ITB China, said: “To enhance the visibility of the European countries as appealing travel destinations in Greater China and promote mutual exchanges between Europe and China, I see the EU-China Tourism Year as the best initiative one can think of.

Axiotis said the marketplace of ITB China would bridge the prospering Chinese travel market, the world and specifically Europe.

Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission, said: “ITB China is an excellent platform to showcase Europe’s unique and diverse natural and cultural heritage and to foster cooperation between tourism business in Europe and China. We are confident that this partnership will contribute to achieve the objectives of the EU-China Tourism Year.”

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ITB China will also be introducing a dedicated Business Travel Day featuring experts fro CITS American Express Global Travel, Carlson Wagonlit and BCD Travel. 

Practical workshops with up-to-date information on methods and strategies will be offered to both career newcomers and corporate travel managers with first-hand knowledge and updates. Admission to the Business Travel Day is free for visitors to ITB China.

“China is an enormous market for corporate travel and there is still great potential for growth, said Jonathan Kao, managing director for Greater China at BCD Travel: “We are pleased to work with ITB China to host the Business Travel Day and forge a communication platform for our corporate clients and the industry to focus on topics with the highest priority.

Wyndham Hotel Group has also been named as official partner hotel of ITB China 2018.

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