The Chinese Visitor Summit – a key B2B networking forum and conference for travel industry professionals looking to capture more business from The People’s Republic – is returning to Abu Dhabi this August for the third year in a row.
Organised by Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) in partnership with the Shanghai-based i2i Group and backed by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), this year’s event will bring 75 top-tier Chinese tour operators and six key Chinese media representatives to the UAE capital from August 23-28.
“There is a marked shift in demand from China which will be highlighted at the summit in terms of delegation make-up and discussion points,” said Rob Nicholas, Managing Director, NPI. “Whereas Group bookings have long been the mainstay of the Chinese outbound-market, the MICE and FIT segments are now coming into their own, which expands the potential for stakeholders. In addition, this year selection of the hosted buyers will extend beyond the key Chinese cities to also include the second-tier hubs of Xi’an, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Jinan,” he added.
The Chinese delegation, which will be based at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi and newly-opened Royal Rose and The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, will include CEOs, general, product, outbound and MICE managers, event producers from wholesale, retail, leisure, golf, adventure and FIT operators.
“A strict, selection criteria has been put in place to choose who will be included in the Chinese delegation, which will include the quantity of business the applicants currently write from China to MENA with particular focus on the UAE,” explained Alexander Glos of i2i. “Given that the Chinese outbound travel market is achieving 15% year-on-year growth we anticipate strong demand for the high value, pre-scheduled meetings with Chinese buyers that the event holds out. Already we have received interest from MENA and Indian Ocean destinations who believe that they can benefit from a being an onward-from-the-Gulf destination leveraging good air uplift from the region,” he added.
TCA Abu Dhabi is once again backing the summit and will host a gala dinner for delegates and destination familiarisation activities for the Chinese media.
“We intend to put on quite a show,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi. “China is one of the hottest outbound tourism markets on the planet and there is stiff competition for the Chinese traveller’s business. However, we are confident we have significant, stand-out propositions that will convince these influential buyers that when it comes to delivering travel experiences of service and substance, Abu Dhabi fits the bill,” he added.
“We are well aware that Chinese travellers have shopping high on visit itineraries and again, increasingly, Abu Dhabi is well positioned to fulfill this key requirement. We have, throughout the emirate, a spread of shopping options – from mid-range malls with the latest high street brands, to ultra-luxurious malls where the very finest brands market their latest products and where discreet, personal shopping trips can be arranged for those preferring to buy in privacy. We also have souk experiences so that our Chinese guests can practice the keen art of bargaining and pick up authentic souvenirs. Of course, it should be remembered that all our prices are tax-free and that gold jewellery here is priced as much by weight as workmanship. These Chinese buyers will have the chance to explore these options whilst they’re in Abu Dhabi and to also get the lowdown on our next shopping experience, and our biggest to date, the Yas Mall, which will open in time for this November’s F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” he concluded.
In the first four months of this year, some 45,760 Chinese guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments which was a massive 232% jump on figures from January to April 2013. The Chinese guests delivered 83,758 guest nights, which was a leap of 104% year-on-year.
“Much of this would be down to our hosting of major parts of the mega NU SKIN incentive which came to the UAE in April,” said Al Dhaheri. “It’s the type of business we’re obviously keen to getting more of and are actively pursuing China’s emerging business tourism sector. We are aware that we have a challenge in building the number of nights Chinese guests are staying with us – currently it’s just short of two nights – and we want that to grow through increased awareness of our highly expansive and diversified product and a greater destination profile within the People’s Republic,” he added.
Thursday, June 26- 2014 @ 13:58 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.