The current economic climate has not deterred Women in Tourism International Alliance (WITIA) members and industry colleagues from registering for WITIA’s fourth annual Educational, this year being held in Beijing from October 8-13. The schedule will include the Alliance’s annual general meeting, as well as a varied five-day itinerary that captures the breadth and essence of the Chinese capital.

So far Educational participants have registered from Australia, Asia, the United States, Europe, and Africa. They will be based at the magnificent five-star Sofitel Wanda Beijing for the full event, enjoying networking, adventure, and outstanding educational opportunities.

WITIA vice president Helen Wragg of Melbourne, Australia has coordinated the itinerary in conjunction with Yolande Bassingthwaighte of Imperial Expeditions, a resident of Xian, China, who is also WITIA’s director of marketing, Asia. The program has been designed to appeal both to first-time visitors, as well as to those who have experienced China before. Said Helen Wragg: “Though sightseeing will include traditional highlights such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall of China, we are adding additional opportunities to draw in those who have been here before, such as a Hutong tour in a rickshaw with lunch provided by the villagers. The city is so dynamic and changing at such breakneck speed, there is always something exciting to see.” The itinerary does not stop when the sun goes down, as several traditional and glamorous events are planned for the evenings.

Added Helen Wragg, “In addition to the tour’s educational value, there will be numerous opportunities for networking and business-building with local Chinese enterprises, as well as with international WITIA participants.”

Carefully selected pre and post tours will offer participants insight into the wonders of China beyond the capital. Options include a Yangtze River cruise to the Three Gorges Dam site, the Terracotta Warriors of Xian, vibrant Shanghai, and for those who have been to China previously and want something more adventurous, a Silk Road itinerary following the route of ancient caravans and traders between Beijing and China’s far western border.

Founded in February 2006, WITIA is an Internet-based alliance of travel and tourism professionals whose goal is to promote members’ professional and personal growth through networking and sharing of expertise. WITIA is serious about communicating with members, offering an innovative, practical website and regular professional newsletter communications to an opt-in database of over 2,500 travel professionals worldwide. WITIA members each enjoy a personal dedicated page on WITIA’s website and numerous free opportunities to promote their businesses across the globe.

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