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WTM-ChinaContact forum on China’s travel industry takes place on 14th November from 10:00-17:30 in South Gallery room 21/22, World Travel Market (ExCel, London).

WTM-ChinaContact forum on China’s travel industry takes place on 14th November from 10:00-17:30 in South Gallery room 21/22, World Travel Market (ExCel, London). ( As China gets ready for its initiation onto the world events stage with the 2008 Olympics next August, ‘China – the Future of Travel’ forum looks at how the growing Chinese interest in sports is stimulating demand for outbound tourism from China. Until now, international sports events have only received media attention there when China did extremely well. Popular sports have traditionally been badminton, ping pong or volleyball where China is so dominant.

In recent years and since the announcement of Beijing being the next Olympic city, attitudes towards sports have changed dramatically. This was encouraged by major marketing drives of leading international (and some domestic) sports related brands of shoes, clothing and equipment. It has happened at a time of new-found prosperity in Urban China allowing more leisure time and higher spending power for China’s young.

The most striking developments have taken place in the take up of football across the country. Events such as the World Cup in Korea and Japan and most recently in Germany were compulsory television viewing. Office staff staggered to work re-eyed each day after spending all night watching matches from Europe. From white collar workers to taxi driver, everyone knows the names of the top football players and clubs in Europe and South America. From almost no where, football became a passion for a country not known for being very passionate.

For China’s rich, newly adopted sports that have become a household name almost overnight include golfing and skiing. When combining these new pastimes with the eagerness to travel abroad, you get a completely new travel pattern that has not existed in China before – sports tourism. This is the topic of one of the sessions during the upcoming forum on China’s tourism sector at World Travel Market.

This session focuses on how to make the hype around the Beijing Olympic Games pay dividends in terms of increased tourism revenues for Western destinations? In the short term that means taking advantage of the fact that many Chinese are planning to escape the mayhem and spend that period out of Chin. Long term, Chinese will be exposed to so many new countries and destinations that will wet their appetites to travel abroad. With London hosting the 2012 Olympics, this special link should serve to enhance Britain's image in China and with it Chinese tourism to Britain.

Panel speakers Sandie Dawe from VisitBritain and Martine Ainsworth-Wells from Visit London have had many dealings with their counterparts in China and have been focusing attention on maximising Britain's exposure in conjunction with the Olympics and other sports events. The company which was selected to sell Beijing Olympic tickets in Britain is Sportsworld. Its CEO Chad Lion-Cachet will be discussing his experiences of developing business in China and his company's work to attract Chinese outbound tourism for sports events taking place in Europe.
The panel will discuss:
• How can destinations and travel suppliers benefit from the growing popularity of sport?
• Can sports be used to attract more Chinese visitors to the West?
• How can you capitalise on major sports event to grow tourism from China?
• Which sports events are more attractive to Chinese and why?
• What type of sports activity packages would sell in China and how to promote them?

The full day forum on the 14th of November starts at 10:00 with an opening speech by PATA CEO Peter de Jong and an introduction to the Chinese tourism market from three perspectives. Professor Wolfgang Arlt from the China Outbound Research Institute provides the background and lays out the road ahead, Roy Graff of ChinaContact offers insight into independent travel from China, Rosita Yiu explains how Accor Hotels have managed to become a famous brand in China and Olivier Dombey from Pegasus Solutions covers the state of technology and product distribution.

After the presentations, a fully interactive question and answers panel will deal with the issue of working with the Chinese travel sector and providing hospitality to Chinese guests. A networking lunch offers a unique opportunity to meet the speakers and a delegation of Chinese travel agents who have come especially to attend WTM. In the afternoon the forum will focus on sports as mentioned above and finally offer another chance for delegates to ask the expert speakers questions pertinent to their own business. The day will close with a disclosure of results from the recent global survey on the international tourism industry’s attitudes to China’s growing outbound tourism market.

The forum has been running in cooperation with World Travel Market since 2006 and is supported by PATA, VisitBritain, Visit London, CBBC and UKinbound. Sponsors include Trafalgar Tours and China Business Services. The organiser, ChinaContact, is a market entry specialist for China’s tourism industry offering consulting, strategy, deal brokerage, marketing, localisation and representation services.

Delegate rates are £175.00 for half day, £338.00 for full day or £360.00 including lunch. 10% discount is offered to: members of the supporting organisations, Meridian Club badge holders and WTM exhibitors. Information will be available at the PATA stand during WTM 12-13 November.

Roy Graff, MD, ChinaContact +44 20 78719886 / +44 7821 093199

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