UAE tourism industry geared up for Chinese Visitor Summit
The UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, is set to host The Chinese Visitor Summit, September 2-3, aimed at giving top Chinese tourism producers specific destination networking opportunities and to meet with key suppliers from the UAE and other key destinations used in multi-stop itineraries.
Taking place at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi and organized by Nicholas Publishing International (NPI) in partnership with the Shanghai-based i2i Group and backed by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), this year’s event will bring 75 top Chinese outbound tourism bookers to the UAE capital.
The United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles will all be represented at this year’s summit, with each destination seeing huge potential for growth from China as a tourism source market.
The Chinese delegation will also comprise six leading Chinese media and tourism buyers include CEOs, general, product, outbound and MICE managers, sports events producers from wholesale, retail, leisure, golf, adventure and FIT operators.
Rob Nicholas, Managing Director, NPI said, “The summit is dedicated to building inbound Chinese visitor numbers by matching buyers to over 70 travel providers from throughout the region and further afield including hoteliers, attractions and retailers keen to tap into this lucrative market.”
“The market is wide open with the UAE currently representing less than 10% - or 31,980 travelers - of the delegation’s accumulative outbound business. And with more than half of the delegation having less than three years’ experience working with UAE suppliers, their appetite for new product is extremely keen.”
A snap survey of the summit’s Chinese delegates has revealed specific MICE opportunities with bookers looking for existing opportunities with clients from the Chinese government, industry association, education, pharmaceuticals and medical, oil and gas, retail, construction, real estate, automotive, as well as insurance, finance and corporate segments.
“What stands out in particular is that they are now focusing on suppliers of MICE, high-end travel and custom-designed products within the UAE market,” added Nicholas. “While on the leisure side, the preference is for multi-experience packages combining two destinations or more such as Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles.”
Last year’s summit proved extremely successful for Abu Dhabi with 76 Chinese travel agents and tour operators, 10 Chinese media and several Chinese government travel dignitaries receiving their first exposure to our destination.
“Summit partners and suppliers went above and beyond to impress the Chinese delegation. We are looking to build on this momentum and to particularly highlight our expanding tourism proposition which has been boosted over the past 12 months with new resort and attraction openings and tour product enhancements,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi, which operates a visitor and destination promotion center in Beijing.
“What is clear though is that local suppliers will have to begin creating tailor-made product if they are to maximize penetration of this market with delegate members requesting specific high-end product such as Gulf luxury desert driving tours. The local suppliers joining us at the summit will be naturally out to sell product, but also to learn more about what is specifically required by the Chinese buyers and their customers.”
Alexander Glos of i2i says that while unique attractions, world-class accommodation and shopping are vital in attracting Chinese visitors, its travel industry buyers are also looking for a destination which demonstrates flexibility in responding to their needs.
“They are looking for destinations that are Chinese-focused – for example, hotels that provide staff who can speak the Chinese language, as well as restaurants that offer authentic Chinese cuisine for when they have a craving for their native food. They also value the experience of shopping in stores that have Chinese attendants,” he said.
China is Abu Dhabi’s 16th largest international source market for hotel guests with more than 20,000 Chinese staying in the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments in the first half of 2013- a 35% rise on same period in 2012. The Chinese guests also accounted for 38% more guest nights than the corresponding period in 2012.