Abu Dhabi ready for Meet China conference

Taking place from August 31 until September 1 for the fourth consecutive year, Abu Dhabi is gearing up to host Meet China (formerly known as the Chinese Visitor Summit), a vital B2B conference which provides an ideal platform for travel professionals wishing to capitalise on business from China.

The rebranded networking aims to increase visitor numbers from China. It will unite representatives from hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and leisure and entertainment venues from the MENA region.

The event, organised by npimedia in association with Highway Tourism (a UAE-based DMC catering to Chinese visitors in Abu Dhabi and Dubai) with support from Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), will welcome 65 top-tier travel-buyers from mainland China, representatives from Taiwan and also members of the Chinese media.

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Managing director, npimedia, Rob Nicholas commented: “Every hosted Chinese buyer is motivated to grow their business to the MENA region. In addition, we are pleased to welcome a delegation of 10 carefully selected buyers from Taiwan who represent companies that would like to open up their outbound business to the MENA region using the UAE as a hub and key attraction.”

The Chinese travel buyers delegation will be based at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Beach Rotana and The Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara. They will be made up of a carefully selected and highly qualified group of buyers representing the FIT, leisure and MICE market and the online digital travel market in China, with attendees including Nanhu, GZL, U-tour, Everbright, CITS, Comfort, Meiya, One-tour and BTG.

Backing the event, TCA Abu Dhabi will host a gala dinner for delegates together as well as destination familiarisation activities for the Chinese media.

Acting executive director tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi, Sultan Al Dhaheri enthused: “We are planning a tantalising ‘taster’ tour for our guests while they are here. China is our third biggest overseas market for tourists and one of the most sought-after outbound tourism markets on the planet, making Chinese travellers’ business keenly contested.

“But we are sure we have an outstanding and enticing propositions in Abu Dhabi, and that Meet China will persuade these top buyers that when it comes to delivering top-tier travel experiences, we check all the right boxes.

“We are aware that we have a challenge in building the number of nights Chinese guests are staying with us. It currently averages just short of one and a half nights – and we want that to grow through increased awareness of our world-class product and higher visibility of our destination profile within the People’s Republic,” he concluded.

Throughout H1 of 2015, some 102,217 Chinese guests checked into Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments, representing an impressive 72 per cent jump on figures from January to June 2014, and Chinese guests delivered 148,842 guest nights – a 41 per cent rise year-on-year. These figures make China Abu Dhabi’s third largest overseas source market.