China in spotlight at World Travel Market London

(Xinhua) 13:51, November 09, 2023

LONDON, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The projected growth of China's tourism market is one of the hot topics at the ongoing World Travel Market (WTM) London 2023, as global travel service providers eye more business opportunities in the Asian country.

According to the Global Travel Report released at the event, outbound markets in emerging economies such as China, India or Indonesia are continuing to grow. As these countries become more affluent, more people can afford leisure travel.

The report also highlights the potentially growing interest of China's elderly population in organized tours, such as cruises.

"The Asia-Pacific is a critical driver of the world's inbound, outbound and domestic tourism sectors, and the growth profile for China and other countries in the region is extremely positive news for us all," commented Juliette Losardo, exhibition director at WTM London.

Natalia Bayona, executive director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), told Xinhua that China is a strong market and boasts strength in terms of education, investments and innovation in tourism.

Early this year, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili led a delegation to Hangzhou, China, and warmly welcomed the lifting of travel restrictions as a major boost to economic growth and social opportunity in the Asia Pacific region and globally. He was the first head of a UN agency to visit China since the restrictions were lifted.

Patricia Page-Champion, senior vice president and global commercial director at Hilton, shared her observations at a panel discussion. "I was in Shanghai last week, (and it was) quite amazing," she said. "Domestic travel is booming in the country."

"What we see now is an influx of Chinese travelers to the United Arab Emirates. We are very happy with that, and we believe there will be a lot of growth in the near future," Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said at another panel discussion.

China returned to WTM London 2023 on Monday with a rich variety of tourism offers, attracting worldwide travel service providers who are eager to welcome outbound tourists from China.

Kathryn Davis, managing director of Visit West, a destination management organization representing Bristol, Bath and the wider West of England region, said that they saw an increase in the number of Chinese visitors this year.

"We think this is a great start for improving our partnership further," she told Xinhua. "It's important that we work with local partners and with partners in China to make sure that we offer the right experiences and the right products at the right price."

Launched in 1980, WTM London introduces global travel buyers to the biggest destinations and brands in the world every year. It is one of the world's most influential travel and tourism events.

During the three-day event, representatives from China took the stage, showcasing their advanced technologies designed to improve tourism service experiences.

At a panel discussion hosted by the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), Li Baochun, deputy chief of the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau, presented the way the capital of China harnesses technologies to offer smarter and more efficient services to tourists.

On Wednesday, the China Pavilion introduced an online platform that showcases rich Chinese culture and tourism resources to WTM's visitors. The platform uses metaverse technology to attract those familiar with virtual video games.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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