David Axiotis

Travel and Tour World gets a sneak peek of ITB China 2018 in an exclusive interview with David Axiotis, General Manager, ITB China .

Travel And Tour World – ITB China’s first edition saw a high number of exhibitors. How is ITB China 2018 poised to facilitate more business for the industry ?

David Axiotis : Exhibitor demand for ITB China 2018 is undiminished, bookings have come expectedly well showing industry acceptance. Many of our exhibitors come from China and will leverage travel trade fair to develop the distribution network. With an expected attendee number of 15,000, approximately 700 exhibitors and more than 800 buyers, ITB China will show significant growth after its world premiere last year.

Attendees can look forward to newest trends and innovations of Chinese and global travel industry. Furthermore, we extended our hosted buyer program this year, in order to structure and maximize the business opportunities for all attendees. There will be an increase of more than 30% in the number of buyers at this year’s show compared to 2017. The diversity will again be very high as the buyers will be coming from over 300 different companies.


Travel And Tour World: What other services are offered to improve networking and maximizing business at ITB China 2018?

David Axiotis : We are hosting several networking events during and after ITB China to encourage dialogue and exchanges between all attendees, like the opening dinner gala one day prior to the show, a blogger award dinner gala in partnership with Qyer.com and a Finnish night on the evening of the first day, the ITB China cruise night on the second day and many others.

We will launch a completely new matchmaking system for exhibitors and buyers this year, specifically designed to raise convenience and efficiency of conducting business at ITB China to a totally new level.

In 2017, over 10,000 pre-scheduled appointments between exhibitors and hosted Chinese buyers happened during and we expect this number to grow significantly .



Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the emerging trends in ITB China.

David Axiotis : According to the World Travel Monitor®, in 2016, while international travel grew by about four per cent, China registered a growth rate of 13 per cent, further consolidating its position as one of the world’s most important source markets for international travel.
ITB China is a top-quality trade show for the Chinese travel market, specifically designed as a pure B2B show focusing solely on business without any B2C involvement .It covers major segments of the travel market-leisure, corporate, MICE travel as well as travel technology.



Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the prominent destinations which will be featured this time.

David Axiotis : Finland will be the co-host of ITB China’s official opening dinner with some 600 guests attending and will also organise numerous events during the fair. Finland , the partner destination of ITB China 2018 is running a multitude of visa centers in China, working on e-visa solutions for Chinese tourists and has opened up mobile payments systems adding a lot of convenience for Chinese visiting Finland. Around 50 delegates from Finland will be representing the country.



Travel And Tour World: How beneficial it will be for the travel agents this year?

David Axiotis :ITB China earns awareness among Chinese audiences that ITB Berlin enjoys across the world Top Speakers from major travel companies, like Ctrip, Google, Expedia Affiliate Network, VisitFinland, Wyndham Hotels, Tencent, Meituan, China Tourism Academy will provide insights into their expanding markets.


Travel And Tour World: Who will be the major buyers and exhibitors this year?

David Axiotis :ITB China 2018 already counts big names of China’s travel industry on its partner list. Ctrip and Bravolinks has the biggest market share in the Chinese MICE industry have already committed to send buyers to ITB China to make large purchases of new products.Leading Chinese travel industry companies including Caissa, Fliggy, Tuniu,UtourTravel and others have confirmed participation.

Hosted buyers represent the Chinese Leisure, MICE and Corporate travel markets: 97% of hosted buyers come from China and 3% from Hongkong, Macau and Taiwan.

Europe is again the largest exhibitor, a dedicated Europe Pavilion will showcasing a multitude of European tourism products and destinations. Other major exhibitors include: Portugal, Finland, Brazil, Israel, Greece (destinations) Wyndham Hotel Group and Jin Jiang (hotels).

Over one-third of the exhibitors are coming from Europe, and another third from all over Asia and China. The Americas and the Middle East are also strongly represented.


Travel And Tour World: ITB China will be providing insights about unique travel, business travel, education and job . Can you throw some light on it?

David Axiotis : The first day of ITB China Conference is dedicated to sessions about ‘Destination’ and ‘Customised Travel’, dealing with the increasing demand for more individualised and unique travel experiences.

On 17 May 2018 it will offer everyone an ideal platform for training and networking at the Business Travel Day. Practical workshops with up-to-date information on methods and strategies will provide both career newcomers and corporate travel managers with first-hand knowledge and updates.

The last day is dedicated to ‘Education & Job Day’ in partnership with Fudan University & Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Podium discussions, informative lectures on travel education will be on agenda.

Applicants can elevator-pitch to potential employers from leading companies for job. Exhibitors and non-exhibitors, including Chinese and foreign universities, technical colleges, professional academies have chance to present themselves and their services. Jobseekers can contact personnel managers and apply for jobs directly.Newcomers can gain an overview of University degree courses and Executive Education courses in tourism.



Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the partnership with China Tourism Association and China Tourism Academy.

David Axiotis : China Tourism Association, the biggest travel and tourism industry association of the world’s second largest economy, will work with us to boost industry cooperation and communication between China and the rest of the world.

CTA’s strong position will be a huge asset to all attendees getting key insights through strategic partnership.

The China Tourism Academy is a research institution directly under the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) with a focus on studies in the tourism industry, such as tourism research, data analysis and tourism promotion.It is promoting China tourism industry development and international exchanges. The research conducted by CTA focusing on China’s outbound travel will be presented at ITB China 2018.


Travel And Tour World: Tell us about the partnership with Qyer.com

David Axiotis : Qyer.com, founded in 2004 is a leading Chinese outbound travel one-stop-shop platform. For the first time Qyer along with ITB China will launch- IT’S MY WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS 2018, honoring Chinese key opinion leaders as well as global destinations this year.


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