With the spread of coronavirus under control and domestic leisure travel growing, ME travel professionals are looking to China to initiate international tourism
One of the most eagerly awaited sessions during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) three-day ATM Virtual event that takes place from 1-3 June 2020, is undoubtedly The Virtual ATM China Tourism Forum.
The debate will take an in-depth look at the potential of the Chinese outbound leisure market now that China seems to have the viral outbreak under control and domestic tourism is growing once again. Many Middle East travel professionals will be looking for insight into the current state of the market and more importantly, how and when to start planning for inbound Chinese visitors.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Travel and tourism professionals around the globe will not need reminding that the global industry has been hit badly by the effects of Covid-19 – but in China we are witnessing the green-shoots of recovery.
“The relatively swift rebound of domestic travel during the May Golden Week Holiday in China for example, underscores the bullish view of certain analysts regarding China’s integral role in leading the global tourism industry post Covid-19’s closed borders.
“Some hoteliers in China were reporting occupancy levels for the recent national holiday in excess of 45% with resort markets close to 70%, a significant improvement from the overall average of 30% occupancy, confirming leisure demand is robust.”
Specifically, The Virtual ATM China Tourism Forum will focus on the potential recovery of outbound travel and how Chinese travellers have been changing the way that they access information about foreign destinations and making contacts with local hotels, tour operators and ground handlers.
Moderated by Dr. Adam Wu, the panellists for this session, which takes place on day two (Tuesday 2nd June) at 11am to 12pm GST (8am to 9am BST), include Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman, International Institute of Peace for Tourism (IIPT) and former Secretary General of the UNWTO; H.E. Khalid Jasim al-Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; Helen Shapovalova, Founder & Director, Pan Ukraine; Lisa Dinh, Tourism Director, VIA Outlets and Tony Ong, Chief Business Officer and Vice President of HCG International Travel Group, which has over 7000 local travel agents across China focusing on outbound travel.
The experts will share their opinion and experience on how to overcome the current crisis by identifying new buying patterns, new demand streams and innovative ways of reaching customers as well as of course enhancing existing partnerships.
“We have an impressive line-up of tourism experts and Dr. Wu’s credentials are exemplary. He is CEO of CBN Travel & Mice and World Travel Online, which is the leading outbound travel portal on the China Wide Web providing destination information in Chinese to the entire outbound travel trade and millions of Chinese travellers,” added Curtis.
With it being a live session, members of the online audience will also have a chance to ask questions, through a Q+A function at the end of the discussion. In addition, viewers will also have an opportunity to share and exchange thoughts and ideas, during a speed networking session, immediately following the panel debate.
Another highlight of ATM virtual, will be a series of hour-long speed networking sessions, between key buyers and exhibitors, will culminate in over 1,400 5-minute meetings that can then be extended into more in-depth meetings where a business need is identified.
“For exhibitors from this region, the dedicated networking event will also include one specifically targeting Chinese buyers,” said Curtis.
Over three days, ATM Virtual, will also feature a host of comprehensive webinars, live conference sessions, roundtables, speed networking events, one-to-one meetings, as well as facilitating new connections and offering a wide range of online business opportunities.
With up to four live high-level sessions each day, industry experts will address a range of topics including tourism strategies for the future, the hotel landscape in a post-COVID-19 world, and the resilience of the travel industry, as well as exploring emerging travel technology and sustainability trends, amongst other key topics.
Sessions on the first day of the virtual event include, amongst others, ‘Communicating and Building Confidence Now’ and ‘The Hotel landscape in a post-COVID-19 world’.
Day two will also include the sessions entitled, ‘Bouncing Back: Tourism Strategies for the Future’ and ‘Catapulting Resilience Through Technology and Analytics’. On day three, the event will conclude with the International Travel Investment Conference summit, ‘Restructuring to attract sustainable investment and customers in the new world order’.
Arabian Travel Market would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia and the Italian Tourist Board for their support of ATM Virtual as Gold Sponsors.