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More destinations than ever at travel trade event

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Ti Gong

A busy scene at ITB China 2024’s opening day.

ITB China 2024, the premier B2B trade show dedicated to the Chinese travel market, kicked off at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center in the Pudong New Area on Monday.

This year’s event, running for three days, boasts over 600 exhibitors from more than 80 countries and regions and 1,000-plus buyers. With a 60-percent increase in scale compared with last year, ITB China has 13 new destinations, including Cuba, Morocco, Peru and Romania, on the show floor.

ITB China 2024 has adopted the inspiring theme of “Thrive in Transformation, Reach New Heights. Together,” reflecting the importance of adaptability and innovation in the travel industry, as well as the huge untapped potential of the Chinese travel market.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

ITB China 2024 is the premier B2B trade show dedicated to the Chinese travel market.

“Since 2023, China’s travel market has been on a steady positive trajectory, and with the impact of improved visa policies and increased flight capacity, China’s travel market is showing strong signs of growth at the start of 2024,” said David Axiotis, vice president of the China market of Messe Berlin GmbH. “The buyer market this year is buzzing with even stronger demand and a much larger number of participants compared to last year.”

For the first time, ITB China is launching a China Inbound Travel segment, bringing together insights and innovations of international leading travel associations to explore opportunities for Chinese inbound growth.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

Maldives drummers perform at the opening ceremony.

Overseas tourism bureaus have been stepping up efforts to lure Chinese travelers amid the restoration of outbound flights from China.

The Maldives, partner destination of the event, is significantly enhancing its presence with a pavilion 2.5 times larger than in 2023 as well as performances, gourmet offerings, and diverse activities.

Visit Maldives and WeChat Pay signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, pledging to support more Maldivian businesses to accept WeChat payments.

WeChat Pay is currently being piloted at the country’s airport, as well as in popular locations and specialty stores.

The initiative is expected to have 8,000 businesses nationwide integrate the payment option later this year.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

A view of the night sky that can be enjoyed by visitors to Jordan.

The Jordan Tourism Board is showcasing the country’s rich tourism resources and unique cultural allure.

Last year, the country received a record-breaking 6.4 million tourists, and in the first few months of 2024, Jordan’s tourism sector has shown promising signs of recovery, the tourism board said.

Jordan is offering a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers, such as exploration tours into the Ajloun Forest Reserve, a serene natural reserve known for its lush greenery, hiking trails, and diverse wildlife, and the Dana Biosphere Reserve which offers breathtaking landscapes, ancient ruins, and opportunities for eco-tourism and hiking.

It is expected that direct flights between Jordan and China will be launched soon, according to Wael Assem Fawwaz Alrousan, deputy managing director of the Jordan Tourism Board.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

Beating the drum for overseas travel.

“We are very optimistic about the Chinese tourism market and are investing heavily to deliver good packages to Chinese travelers,” he said.

Jordan is adopting a “China ready” approach to tackle language and payment barriers, he added.

Under the plan, there will be more Chinese speaking tour guides, Chinese-version menus at restaurants and wide application of WeChat and Alipay payment.

As part of continuous promotional efforts to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination, Tourism Malaysia is making its fourth appearance at the show and has gathered 37 organizations at its booth.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

A performance at the Malaysia Pavilion.

“Malaysia’s participation in ITB China for this year marks our commitment and sincerity to strengthen cooperation and deepen tourism and cultural exchanges through people-to-people exchanges especially in the 50th year anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia,” said Dato Seri Tiong King Sing, the country’s tourism, arts and culture minister.

China remains one of the top market sources for Malaysia and contributed about 1.47 million arrivals to the country last year compared to 212,603 in 2022. Malaysia is aiming to receive 27.3 million international tourist arrivals this year, with 5 million from China.

There are currently 368 flights per week between China and Malaysia.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

A colorful meeting at the event’s opening ceremony.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

A dancer draws a crowd at the show.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

Traditional music is played to attract people to one of the booths.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

All smiles as travel professionals exchange views.

More destinations than ever at travel trade event

Ti Gong

One of the colorful pavilions at the event.

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