Europe joins ITB China as strategic partner

Published on : Monday, August 9, 2021

According to the European Travel Commission (ETC), many Chinese tourists are looking forward to travelling abroad. Hence the ETC as decided to strengthen ties with ITB China as a Strategic Partner in 2021. ETC will have a strong presence at this year’s hybrid show, reflecting the optimism of Chinese tourism returning to Europe, maintaining close ties with Chinese agents & buyers and learning more about new market trends and changes in consumer behavior. ITB China 2021, the Marketplace for China’s Travel Industry will take place as physical event in Shanghai from November 24-26 this year, with a virtual extension from early November until the end of December.

In addition to the EUROPE pavilion, ITB China will show strong individual presences of other major European destinations, such as Finland (Visit Finland), Italy (ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board), Malta (Malta Tourism Authority), Spain (TOURSPAIN), Switzerland (Switzerland Tourism) and United Kingdom (VisitBritain). The pandemic has accelerated changes that were already evident before, creating both opportunities and challenges for tourism organizations and hospitality representatives to keep pace with the market.

Confirmed European destinations exhibiting in the EUROPE pavillion include Austria (Austrian National Tourist Office), Croatia (Croatian National Tourist Board), Czech Republic (CzechTourism), Denmark & Norway (Scandinavian Tourist Board), Germany (German National Tourist Board), Isle of Ireland (Tourism Ireland), Netherlands (Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions), Poland (Polish Tourism Organisation), Portugal (VisitPortugal), France (Atout France), among others.

Mr. Eduardo Santander, Executive Director, European Travel Commission said in a statement that the ETC is delighted to join ITB China 2021 as a Strategic Partner and are looking forward to showcasing a multitude of European destinations and experiences through the hybrid EUROPE pavillion. He said that Europe is opening up for travel, ETC believes it is crucial to intensify dialogue between European and Chinese partners on the most pressing issues to finally embark the common journey towards the recovery of tourism.

According to Santander the most important post-pandemic Chinese travel trend is the shift from group travel aiming at visiting as much countries at once as possible, towards FIT and semi-customized travel focusing on more in-depth experiences. A new model of more conscious and slow travel is emerging. Especially among young, tech-savvy and bilingual Chinese people traveling off the beaten path, self-driving and small private groups will become more and more popular. One trend has remained: Chinese tourists still value the safety of travel. At the same time the flexibility of travel bookings play a much more crucial role than before.

Europe’s tourism sector is working to support the reopening and has joined forces to encourage Europeans to travel abroad this summer responsibly. Last month, the ETC presented ‘Open up to Europe’, a major promotional campaign to reassure potential tourists that destinations and tourism businesses in Europe have implemented all the necessary health and sanitary protocols and are open for visitors. The campaign, led by ETC and co-funded by the EU with the support of more than 30 destinations and travel brands, will be rolled out across Europe as restrictions are eased and countries open up for travel.

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