3 min read

GITF Conference – Global Tourism 2.0 relevant also for China’s outbound tourism

GITF Conference – Global Tourism 2.0 relevant also for China’s outbound tourism

Dear reader,

Last week COTRI and your humble editor had the honour to organise as part of the GITF Guangzhou International Travel Fair the China Outbound Tourism 2024 conference.

During the conference a number of world-class experts shared with the audience their insights into the likely development of the global and especially the Chinese international tourism in the coming years under the global umbrella of demographic, de-globalisation and climate change challenges.  

The evening before already the CTW Award ceremony had provided Best Practice examples from the winners from all continents.

To start, we had two video recordings from global tourism leaders: Zoritsa Urosevic, the UN Tourism (formerly: UNTWO) Executive Director, sending greetings from Saudi-Arabia, spoke about the importance of China for global tourism and about the Year of Sustainable and Resilient Tourism 2027, which was declared by the United Nations and will be organised by UN Tourism.  

After her, Noor Ahmad Hamid, CEO PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) provided his latest views on the future development of global tourism, speaking from nearby Macau SAR, where the PATA Annual Meeting took place at the same time as our conference

Afterwards your humble editor had the honour to give to a fully packed audience the COTRI view of global tourism in a world which has changed from a “VUCA” world to a “Schumpeter” world (readers who are interested in a copy of the presentation should drop a line to info@meaningful-tourism).

It was mentioned for example that the rapid fall of the number of marriages and births in the last decade will result in less families with kid and honeymoon couples travelling abroad, but will on the other hand free give many Best Agers the opportunity to travel internationally instead of having to spend time and money on their grandchild(ren).

The first panel was chaired by Prof. Timothy Lee PhD of the Macau University of Science and Technology, a world renown expert in Asian tourism. All three panellist came from Nepal: Suresh Singh Budal, CEO PATA Nepal Chamber, Kundan Mishra, Officer Nepal Tourism Board and Lakpa Phuti Sherpa, book author and Executive Committee Member Nepal. They provided an differentiated view from the Top of the World about sustainable tourism in times of Climate Change for Chinese visitors.

Afterwards your humble editor took the stage again to interview Florian Sengstschmid, the CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board to hear about the manyfold activities this country has been undertaking especially in the last few years to put Azerbaijan on the map of Chinese travellers.

The second panel was chaired by an old China hand with decades of staying in the country while still keeping close contacts to his hometown Berlin, Winfried Karl, CEO of China nach Mass. He talked with Richard Matuzevich, Senior Manager World Tourism Cities Federation and Lucas Peng, CEO Peak Hospitality Solutions about new forms of tourism cooperation and organisation in Global Tourism 2.0.

After that panel the next keynote was planned, but the speaker Dr. Jens Thraenhart had been held up in the morning at the Macau-Zhuhai fair. Fortunately, he made it on time to give a well-illustrated introduction into the concept of High-Yield tourism, providing further arguments for the current trend to move from high number of customers with low margin to smaller or at least not growing number of customers with higher margins based on high-quality customised products.

The panel No. 3, coming before the keynote, was mentioned by several participants in the audience as the most interesting one. Chaired by Mrs. Zhang Yang PhD, the Vice-Dean Research Macau University of Science and Technology, two panellist with deep knowledge about health and medical tourism from China shared their insights: Prof. Timothy Lee PhD, MUST and Peter Jeng, Deputy Secretary General, EU-China Commission and experienced practicioner in China’s health-oriented relations with foreign countries. During the discussion it became clear, that nowadays not only physical health is importance, but also Well-Being to counter burn-out and stress from living in highly competitive and labour-intense commercial structures.

The conference ended with a brief summary by your humble editor and a Lucky Draw, giving away five free online CTT China Tourism Trainings.

Tourism gets more and more complicated, the old wisdom and experiences from the Global Tourism 1.0 period are to a large extent no longer valid. Tourism conferences are therefore more and more important as a part of tourism fairs. COTRI is happy to help organising such conferences around the world.

As always, all best wishes for all readers from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the entire COTRI INTELLIGENCE team!