Travel fair opens the world's doors to Chinese tourists

Hu Min
With delicacies, performances, interactive activities and forums, the three-day trade show has gathered nearly 800 exhibitors from over 80 countries and regions.
Hu Min

The ITB China 2019 travel fair began at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center in the Pudong New Area on Wednesday, featuring delicacies, performances, interactive activities and forums.

The three-day trade show has gathered nearly 800 exhibitors from over 80 countries and regions. 

Participants will explore topics such as the customized tours, MICE industry, science and technology tourism, and business travel. 

The Azerbaijan Tourism Board is at the event for the first time. Its campaign reveals Azerbaijan's culture,  cuisine, shopping experiences and health and wellness retreats.

"Azerbaijan welcomes Chinese travelers to explore its rich cultural offerings and experience its ancient heritage," said Florian Sengstschmid, chief executive of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board.

The board plans cooperation with travel agents, service hotlines, and easy Chinese credit card and Alipay payments in Azerbaijan, he said.  

Azerbaijan has introduced a new electronic visa-on-arrival procedure for Chinese citizens. Last year, the country received more than 12,000 Chinese tourists, a 12 percent increase from a year earlier. 

The Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur) has brought authentic local snacks and drinks to the event and invites Chinese tourists to try a caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail. Brazilian artistes will perform dances with a strong Brazilian flavor throughout the fair. 

Last year, about 60,000 Chinese tourists visited Brazil, and the target is 10 to 15 percent rise this year, according to the board. 

"We want to introduce the natural beauty and historical heritage of Brazil to Chinese travelers," said Diego Feijo, acting director of competitive intelligence and tourism promotion of the board.

Brazil is taking a number of measures such as introducing Chinese signs and guides at tourist attractions, WeChat and Alipay payments and  more Chinese speaking staff in hotels. 

Brazil will also open online visa applications for Chinese tourists from July. The goal is a more than 50 percent  increase in Chinese tourists to Brazil by 2022.

The Ministry of Tourism of Israel signed an agreement with online travel operator Ctrip during the event to cooperate on itineraries, big data and marketing to attract more travelers, particularly young tourists to Israel. 

Between January and April, about 55,000 Chinese visited the country, a surge of 70 percent from the same period last year. 

Hotels and restaurants in Israel have invited Chinese chefs to provide training and signs and maps in Chinese have been added to major tourist spots in Israel. 

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