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Global Travel Trade Gathers at BITTM to do Business With China
Global Travel Trade Gathers at BITTM to do Business With China

London, 13 April 2006 - eTN Travelpress - BITTM (the Beijing International Travel and Tourism Market), the only business to business event dedicated to outbound travel and tourism in China, celebrates the success of its show, which took place last week. The event welcomed 2,541 visitors and attendee levels on the first two days of BITTM surpassed the total visitor numbers at the 2005 event. 124 tourist boards, tour operators, travel agents and hotel groups from 34 countries exhibited at BITTM, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about destinations and providing a platform for organizations to establish new business partnerships. 448 hand-picked hosted buyers from the top tour operators and travel agencies in China attended BITTM to do business and network with international tourism professionals. 

Mr Yu Kaifa, Vice Director of International Marketing Department of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) welcomed delegates on the first day,“I’m delighted to attend BITTM and I'd like to thank all our colleagues in the tourism industry for their support. Since opening to the outside world, the Chinese tourism industry has developed rapidly but strictly speaking, China outbound travel has a ten-year history. In 2005, we saw 31 million departures and in the first two months of 2006, we already seen departures of 5.7 million, that an increase of 15.3%. With the country strong economic growth and improving living standards, we can see that outbound tourism has great potential. I believe BITTM makes a significant contribution to promoting the industry and allows the travel trade to exchange information and drive demand for outbound tourism."

The event attracted high profile Chinese and international tourism experts to speak at the conference, including Geoffrey Lipman, special advisor to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Other guest speakers on the conference program included: Professor Zhang Guangrui from the Tourism Research Center of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing; Mr. Sandeep Bahl from Northwest Airlines Inc; and Professor Dr. Wolfgang Arlt from The University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, Germany.

Lipman delivered a keynote speech on the first day and commented:“The Chinese economic dynamo will continue and the wealth this creates will fuel new travelers with all of the latent curiosity to see a world which beckons to them. With access opened up through special bilateral accords, there are now more than 70 signed ADS providing platforms for two way tourism development."

Hot topics on the conference agenda included future trends and the effects of Chinese tourism on overseas destinations. A panel session also focused on ways to penetrate the Chinese outbound travel market. Members of the panel comprised experts on tourism, international and European tour operators, media specialists, and an airline company. This session provided visiting exhibitors from tourism promotion boards and private companies with practical information and advice on how to successfully market to Chinese consumers.

Nikolay Yotovski, from the Bulgarian State Agency for Tourism who exhibited at BITTM, said,“We’re Delighted with the entry that BITTM offers us into the Chinese market and we very pleased with this great start. The interest of professionals in the Bulgarian offering at BITTM will encourage us to invest in more activities in the Chinese market. This is a vast market, which will help us to reap huge business benefits."

BITTM Student Awards

BITTM also hosted the first Student Awards, recognizing individual achievements and the brightest tourism students in Beijing. The awards will help the winners to further their career progress and ensure that a new generation of tourism students will maximize the training opportunities available to them. The awards were presented by Professor Wolfgang Arlt from Germany and sponsored by Gullivers, BITTM, China Outbound Tourism and Global Refund and China Contact.

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Arlt said during the presentation," These awards have provided us with an opportunity to proactively demonstrate our respect and appreciation for Beijing being a warm and welcoming host city of BITTM and also home of two of the most important Chinese universities for tourism studies."

- Beijing International Studies University (BISU): Deng Zhou, Sun Jian and Wang Shufang.
BISU is a learning institution with the longest tradition of tourism education, originally organized under the Foreign Ministry of China in the 1950s for tour guide education. Partner: Professor Gu Huimin

- Peking University: Zhang Xinmei, Dang Ning and Xing Juejue
Peking University is the oldest and most prestigious university in China, the Center for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) is one of the most famous university institutions in this field. Partner: Professor Wu Bihu.

Karen Taylor, Event Director, concludes,“We’re delighted with this year exhibition and conference and the event has reaffirmed the exciting opportunities that exist for doing business with China. BITTM is the definitive outbound travel and tourism event for China, providing the essential link between the rapid development of the Chinese tourism industry and the dynamic needs of the global industry. I would like to thank our exhibitors, visitors, guest speakers and partners for their support and making the event such a success. I look forward to seeing them again in 2007."


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