COTTM is a B2B trade fair focused only on outbound tourism, visited annually by around 4500 representatives of Chinese travel agencies. The organizers ‘ survey shows that as many as 63% of visitors is interested in European destinations, which is the highest percentage of declarations. It gathers over 450 exhibitors from 70 countries wishing to increase the influx of tourists from China. Our entrepreneurs had the opportunity to talk to potential partners, present their tourist offer and gain knowledge about the functioning of the Chinese tourism industry. The success of the fair is evidenced by the fact that most of them have already declared their presence at the next industry event in May – the ITB fair in Shanghai.
The COTTM trade fair also hosts numerous conferences, tourist reports and discussion panels. This year, PNTO in Beijing also participated in one of the panels. Together with representatives of tourist organisations from Serbia, Turkey and Australia, we have wondered about the impact of current travel trends on the Chinese market on the promotion strategy of tourist destinations. Panel participants talked about their experiences in cooperation with KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) in promoting their regions as well as their plans for this year’s digital marketing activities.
With the current increase of interest in individual tourism among the Chinese, both tourist organisations and local travel agencies face new challenges to reach potential customers with their tourist offer. In the view of recent trends, the in-depth market knowledge, understanding of its specific requirements and needs of Chinese tourists becomes even more crucial. Increasing number of travel agencies from China inquire our office about contacts to very specialized partners from Poland. They are interested in companies operating in the narrow field of tourism: thematic travel, pilgrimages, regional cultural festivals, language youth camps, high-standard traditional cuisine, interactive workshops teaching Chinese tourists about our culture through fun… Entrepreneurs wishing to benefit from the enormous potential of China’s tourist market should be guided by the long-term perspective – starting with offering unique services that will draw the attention of Chinese partners, preparing Chinese-speaking materials, up to establishing profiles on portals and social media channels typical for the Chinese market, such as WeChat.