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Beijing International Tourism Expo 2015 soars to greater heights in its 12th launch

The Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) was successfully held for the 12th time from June 26-28, 2015 at the China National Convention Centre. Covering an area of approximately 22,000 square meters, the three-day mega event involved more than 5,000 exhibitors and buyers from 81 countries and regions, as well as 27 municipalities, provinces and autonomous regions within China. Of these, four countries – Algeria, Bangladesh, Côte d'Ivoire and Mauritius – made their début at BITE 2015. The Expo also attracted over 120,000 visitors, and showcased a diverse range of new travel products and services, as well as unique and exotic destinations..

Attended by government officials, diplomats, exhibitors and other high-profile guests, the curtain was raised for BITE 2015 on Friday, June 26, through an official Opening Ceremony graced by VIPs and key national tourism representatives such as Mr. Roger Kacou, Côte d'Ivoire’s Minister of Tourism. The grand Opening Ceremony also provided exhibitors and buyers with a valuable opportunity for engagements and interactions in a casual setting.

With an array of exciting activities laid out, BITE 2015 surpassed its predecessor with a series of new breakthroughs and additions. Firstly, to welcome exhibitors and buyers, a Welcome Reception was held for the first time on the evening of June 25, 2015 at the Marco Polo Parkside Hotel. Secondly, to provide exhibitors and buyers with key insights into the tourism industry, BITE 2015 held the inaugural Tourism Industry Seminar Series. The seminar session invited leaders from the tourism industry such as Ms. Li Ranzi from the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute and Mr. Kevin Cheong, Chairman of the Association of Singapore Attractions, to share their experiences and knowledge on the tourism industry. Thirdly, BITE 2015 provided a bigger platform for meetings between local and international buyers and sellers. Over 3,000 of such meetings were held over three days, with business transactions reaching more than 5.6 billion yuan in value – an increase by 6% as compared to last year.

Fourthly, BITE 2015 offered greater emphasis on on-site sales promotions, with 33 travel agencies receiving travel reservations from about 32,000 customers, as well as revenue from tourism products and services totaling 82.53 million yuan – an increase by 31% compared to last year. Lastly, BITE 2015 enhanced its service offerings by recruiting more volunteers to assist exhibitors at their booths, and provided quality facilities such as media zones and lounges for exhibitors and buyers.

Apart from the above highlights, the International Hall was highly vibrant and bustling with life. Countries such as Peru, Thailand and India offered an interesting variety of entertainment and performances for visitors. These included Peruvian and Thai dances, a cross-cultural martial arts performance showcasing Indian kalaripayattu and Chinese wushu, a chocolate fountain at the Côte d'Ivoire booth, cosplay and photoshoot opportunities at the Japanese and Korean pavilions, as well as models in ethnic costumes parading around the exhibition hall to promote their travel destinations. Moreover, attractive prizes such as a three-night hotel stay in Dubai sponsored by Abatera Tourism and a round-trip air ticket to Kuala Lumpur sponsored by AirAsia were given out through lucky draws at BITE 2015.

Apart from the interesting showcase, the International Hall at BITE 2015 helped to serve as an ideal platform to facilitate international and regional travel collaborations through various activities. For example, Buyers and Sellers’ Meetings were organized on the eve of the exhibition’s official launch to provide a conducive environment for international exhibitors to engage in one-on-one discussions with local buyers. Destination Presentation sessions were also scheduled on the first day of the exhibition to help international exhibitors promote their travel packages and destinations to all interested trade buyers. Participating exhibitors for the sessions included the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Brand USA, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Greek National Tourism Organization, European Tourist Union, Côte d'Ivoire Tourisme, and Moscow Exhibition&Convention Agency.

To conclude BITE 2015 on a high note, a special awards ceremony was held on the last day of the three-day event to celebrate yet another year of success, as well as to recognize the efforts of exhibitors in showcasing their countries and destinations. The awards included “Most Organized Booth,” “Best Exhibition Booth,” “Best Designed Booth,” “Most Creative Booth,” “Most Popular Booth,” and “Best Product Sales Booth.”

Jointly organized by the Singapore-based Conference&Exhibition Management Services (CEMS), Beijing Relation Conference&Exhibition Services, and Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, BITE 2015 upheld its image as a robust and colorful presentation of travel products and services.

The next instalment of the BITE series will be held in June 2016 at the China National Convention Centre.

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