11th IT&CM China 2017 opens on the back of the first-ever pre-show tour to Istanbul

A selection of hand-picked international buyers and media began their IT&CM China 2017 experience with a 4-day, 3-night pre-show tour to Istanbul sponsored by Turkish Airlines. The trip that began on 17th March gave delegates the opportunity to sample Matbah – the traditional flavours of the Ottoman Palace cuisine, as well as walk the streets and visit iconic districts, landmarks and unique event venues including the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and the 1680 year old Direk Cistern.

“IT&CM China allowed us to captivate beyond show days by leveraging on the buyer profile we knew would be present in China. This tour created desired exposure for Istanbul and Turkish Airlines leading up to the show days by giving potential buyers a real life experience of what our destination is capable of,” remarked sponsors Turkish Airlines’ Senior Vice President Sales (Domestic), Halil Ibrahim Polat.

Said Thai buyer Kanita Watanaphonphan, Product Manager of Zanda Convention & Fair Tour Co. Ltd, "This trip was a good opportunity to discover what Istanbul is really like this year so that we can promote it as a destination to our clients. Instead of having meetings in our usual destinations – mostly major European cities, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore – Istanbul is a great alternative." The organisation is looking to host a potential incentive group of about 60 to 80 persons from the Pharmaceutical industry to Istanbul later this year.

IT&CM China organisers also announced today, fresh event highs that include a representation of 288 MICE exhibiting companies and organisations across all continents of the globe on the show floor, a 20% increase in Chinese and international buyer participants (while maintaining the ideal 80% Chinese to 20% international mix), huge take-up in engagement activities with targeted buyer and media profiles (that includes 4 exclusive luncheons by destinations Argentina, Fiji, Fukuoka, and South Africa; 2 cocktails by JW Marriott Shanghai Changfeng Park and AccorHotels; a hosted dinner by Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM); a promotional event by Hainan Tourism Development Commission (Shanghai); twice the number of destination presentations as compared to the year before), as well as the first-ever co-location of CTW China within an expanded IT&CM China exhibition hall space.

Shared event organiser Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, “The exuberance of the Chinese MICE market and solid decade-long event record continue to pull in a stunning array of local and international exhibitors. This year, we welcome debuts by Air China, Arctic Outback Adventures, National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Argentina, Barcelona Convention Bureau, Dusit International, Tourism Fiji, Monaco Government Tourist Bureau Asia, VisitScotland, Shenzhen Airlines, SNU Healthainment Consortium, South Africa National Convention Bureau, Turkish Airlines, Viajes Pacifico, Vienna Convention Bureau, amongst others. Furthermore, engagement activities are at an all-time high and we are delighted to have both new and returning destinations and brands leveraging on these limited and very exclusive valuable sessions.”

Today’s event highlights also includes the last of two pre-event tours of Shanghai by Pacific World, and the event’s keynote session on The Future of MICE in China featuring Gaining Edge’s Gary Grimmer, and panellists Alicia Yao, Deputy General Secretary of China MICE Committee of China Association of Travel Services; David Zhang, Director of Suzhou MICE Promotion Center; Roger Shu, Deputy General Manager of Hangzhou Convention, Exhibition & Travel; and Yao Xin, Secretary General, CCPIT Commercial Sub-Council.

The day’s activities culminate at the joint IT&CM China and CTW China Opening Ceremony and Welcome Dinner tonight sponsored by Shanghai Marriott Parkview for the third consecutive year. Delegates will be treated to a night of local and international performances, world-class gourmet menu, excellent hospitality and facilities as a showcase of the breadth of the venue’s capabilities.

“The continuous development of our surrounding facilities has contributed greatly to the increased dining, entertainment, and accessibility options. This has propelled our growing reputation in the Shanghai MICE market over the years as a preferred venue of choice. As third year sponsors, we are keen to gain more exposure globally among international stakeholders and agents,” said the hotel’s General Manager, Ricky Lam.

IT&CM China 2017 will be held from 21 – 23 March in Shanghai and is co-located with CTW China, the leading Corporate Travel Management conference for China.

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