“ITB China 2024 presents unparalleled opportunities for growth and collaboration”

ITB China News spoke with David Axiotis, General Manager of Messe Berlin (Shanghai), the organiser of ITB China, in an exclusive interview ahead of this year’s show

David Axiotis outlines how the Chinese travel market has changed in recent years and stresses the importance of adapting strategies according to these new trends. He believes that ITB China is the perfect place to get started.

ITB China has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels this year. How does this reflect the recovery of the Chinese travel market overall as well as the confidence of global destinations and suppliers in the potential of the Chinese market?
China’s outbound tourism market has showcased remarkable growth since the beginning of 2023, with significant increases observed during the recent Chinese New Year 2024 festivities, according to data from Trip.com Group. The resurgence of ITB China to pre-pandemic levels this year serves as a promising indicator of the broader recovery underway in the Chinese travel market. This rebound reflects the industry’s resilience and adaptability in overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic. Moreover, the continued participation and investment of global destinations and suppliers in ITB China underscore their confidence in the potential of the Chinese market. This confidence signals a belief in the enduring growth prospects of Chinese outbound tourism, emphasising the pivotal role that the Chinese market plays in driving global tourism recovery efforts. ITB China 2024 presents unparalleled opportunities for growth and collaboration. Suppliers stand to benefit by nurturing existing business relationships and cultivating new partnerships with Chinese buyers, leveraging the momentum of the market’s recovery.

Could you elaborate on the conference themes and sessions planned for ITB China 2024? Which topics do you believe will resonate most with attendees?
Themes include outbound travel trends, MICE, business travel, travel technology, and for the first time this year, inbound travel. With insights from industry leaders and partnerships with prestigious organisations like SITE and CBEIC, attendees can expect valuable discussions on industry hotspots and emerging trends, including the impact of recent visa policy changes on inbound travel recovery. The topics that are likely to resonate most with attendees is “China Inbound Travel” and “Travel Technology”. As a driving force behind the travel industry, Travel Technology, plays a crucial role in the global travel industry, improving efficiency, convenience and customisation for travellers. This conference will offer attendees valuable insights into the transformative role of technology, including the use of AI in the travel industry and will provide an opportunity to stay ahead of the latest advancements and best practices in this rapidly evolving field.

With recent visa policy adjustments aimed at facilitating inbound travel to China, we expect to see increased interest and participation from international stakeholders looking to tap into the Chinese tourism market.

Can you share some details about the MICE segment this year?
The MICE footprint of ITB China is strong this year as it has been every year, reflected not only in the large number of exhibitors offering distinctive MICE products that are in equally high demand by a large number of buyers sourcing them, but also in our continued commitment to featuring the latest MICE relevant topics and key speakers in our on-stage programme.
In 2024, almost 50% of participating exhibitors indicated that they offer MICE-related services and products, with DMCs and tour operators leading this group with around 45%, closely followed by hotels and other accommodation service providers with 25%. The broad palette of MICE suppliers and showcased products is mirrored in the sourcing demand of attending buyers and the layout of our hosted buyer program. Around one third of all attending hosted buyers are primarily focused on MICE & corporate travel with another 70% of leisure buyers stating they also have a keen interest in business travel related offers.
As to the conference and stage programme, strong partnerships with prominent organisations will enrich sessions on “Business Travel” and “MICE”.

The “China Inbound Travel” segment is new this year. What are some of the main conferences planned? What significant changes or developments can we expect to see in this sector, especially considering recent visa policy adjustments?
With recent visa policy adjustments aimed at facilitating inbound travel to China, we expect to see increased interest and participation from international stakeholders looking to tap into the Chinese tourism market. Conference insights will be provided by industry experts, such as Mr Aaron Goldring, Senior Economist of Tourism Economics, who will kick-off with a keynote “Opportunities for Chinese Inbound Growth to Keep Pace with Outbound and Domestic” in which he will address the resurgence of tourism in China after the pandemic, covering inbound tourism growth, international forecasts, key markets and risks, as well as an outlook on domestic and outbound tourism, including key city destinations.

As General Manager of Messe Berlin (Shanghai), what are your main goals or objectives for this year’s event?
ITB China’s mission is to serve as the premier platform for connecting the global travel industry with the Chinese market. We aim to facilitate meaningful interactions, partnerships, and knowledge exchange among industry professionals, exhibitors, and attendees, ultimately driving growth and innovation in the Chinese travel market. Participants should feel they are at the forefront of discovering the latest trends and engaging in a professional exchange unmatched elsewhere.

Maldives – ITB China 2024 Official Partner Destination

Maldives, renowned worldwide for its stunning natural beauty, pristine beaches, and luxurious resorts, is ITB China’s Official Partner Destination this year. The collaboration aims to showcase the destination’s unique offerings to Chinese travellers, providing an opportunity for the Maldives to strengthen its presence in the Chinese market and forge new partnerships with Chinese travel industry players. The island destination will have a strong presence on the show floor of ITB China 2024 and will be co-hosting ITB China’s official opening dinner on the evening of the first show day with some 600 distinguished guests attending. They will be organising numerous events during the show, such as dedicated networking events and conference sessions.

Insights into the Chinese travel landscape

David Axiotis underlined that the Chinese travel landscape is “undergoing significant transformations in 2024”, driven by a combination of factors that are reshaping the industry’s dynamics: “Chinese travellers are redefining their preferences, favouring independent experiences and new destinations over traditional tour groups. Experiential travel is taking precedence, driven by digital content consumption and a desire for unique, immersive experiences.” According to David Axiotis, “understanding these trends and adapting strategies accordingly will be crucial for industry stakeholders navigating the evolving Chinese travel landscape in 2024 and beyond.” The ITB China Travel Trends Report (TTR) 2024/25, created in partnership with Trip.com, will be launched during ITB China 2024, providing global strategists and decision-makers with in-depth insights into the latest trends in the Chinese travel market.

Photo: ©2023 ITB-China.com

2024 ITB China:无与伦比的增长与合作机会

在2024 ITB China开幕之际, ITB China主办方穆博展览(上海)有限公司总经理David Axiotis接受了ITB China新闻的独家专访,分享了他对行业的市场洞见和专业见解。

David Axiotis对中国旅游市场近年来的变化进行了概述,并强调了根据新趋势调整战略的重要性。他坚信ITB China是助力业务启航的理想场所。

问:ITB China今年已经完全恢复到疫情前的水平。这如何反映了中国旅游市场整体的复苏,以及全球目的地和供应商对中国市场潜力的信心?
根据携程的数据显示,自2023年初以来,中国出境旅游市场持续回暖,尤其是2024年春节期间,出境游呈现增长显著趋势。ITB China今年重返疫情前水平,成为中国旅游市场更广泛复苏的有力证据,这一回升也反映了行业在克服疫情带来的挑战时所展现的韧性和适应能力。此外,全球目的地和供应商持续参与和投资ITB China,凸显了他们对中国市场潜力的信心。这不仅表明了对中国出境旅游持久增长前景的信念,还体现了中国市场在推动全球旅游复苏中的关键作用。2024 ITB China 将呈现无与伦比的增长和合作机会。供应商有望通过培养现有业务关系,并与中国买家建立新的合作伙伴关系,以利用市场复苏的势头。


问:您能详细介绍一下2024 ITB China会议主题和议程计划吗?您认为哪些主题将最能引起与会者的共鸣?

今年ITB China的会展旅游板块依然是重中之重,具有强大的影响力。这一板块不仅是每年ITB的传统焦点,而且提供独特会展旅游产品的参展商数量众多,受到大量买家的青睐。我们也不遗余力地将最新会展旅游相关主题和行业重要演讲嘉宾纳入大会议程。



随着最近一系列旨在促进中国入境旅游的签证政策调整,我们预计将看到更多国际相关方对中国旅游市场的兴趣和参与不断增加。大会将有行业专家提供深度见解,例如旅游经济(Tourism Economics)的旅游调研资深研究员Aaron Goldring先生,他将以“机遇:中国入境游增长如何与出境游和国内旅游保持同步”为题发表主题演讲,讨论疫情后中国旅游业的复苏,包括入境旅游增长、国际预测、主要市场和风险,以及国内游和出境游的前景展望,还有关键城市目的地预测。

ITB China的使命是成为连接全球旅游业与中国市场的首要平台。我们旨在促进行业专业人士、参展商和与会者之间的有意义互动、合作和知识交流,最终推动中国旅游市场的增长和创新。我们希望参与者能感到他们正处于发现最新趋势,进行专业交流的最前沿。

马尔代夫以其令人惊叹的自然风光、原始海滩和豪华度假村而享誉全球。今年,马尔代夫荣幸成为ITB China的官方目的地合作伙伴。此次合作旨在向中国游客展示马尔代夫作为旅游目的地独特魅力,增加其在中国市场的曝光度,并与中国旅游业者建立新的合作伙伴关系提供机会。这片美丽的岛屿目的地将在ITB China的舞台上展现其无穷魅力,并将共同主办ITB China的官方开幕晚宴,预计将有600多位贵宾共襄盛举。在展会期间,马尔代夫还将组织多彩的活动,如专门的社交活动和主题会议。

David Axiotis指出,中国旅游业“在2024年正发生重大变革”,这是由多种因素共同推动,正在重新定义行业格局。“中国游客正在重新塑造他们的旅行偏好,更青睐独立体验和探索新目的地,而非传统的跟团旅游。体验式旅行逐渐成为主流,这一趋势受到数字内容消费和对独特、沉浸式体验的追求推动。”David Axiotis强调,“深入了解这些趋势并相应调整战略,对于行业相关方在2024年及以后应对不断变化的中国旅游市场至关重要。” ITB China与携程合作推出2024/25年度旅游趋势报告(TTR),将在2024 ITB China期间发布,为全球战略制定者和决策者提供关于中国旅游市场最新趋势的深入见解。

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