Travel news for the trade community

Record numbers set to attend MeetChina forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

MeetChina, a two-day forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is set to welcome record numbers this year, including 85 travel buyers from China and 75 suppliers from across the MENA region.

With China now the leading source market for visitors to Abu Dhabi and with more than one million Chinese tourists visiting the UAE in 2017, interest in the seventh MeetChina forum has grown significantly, as the two-day event to be held on 3 and 4 September on Yas Island gears up to host even greater numbers.

With Yas Island – Abu Dhabi as destination partner, MeetChina is organised by NPI Media and Mini Spider (Beijing), and supported by the Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.

These buyers represent the outbound travel market for leisure and FIT travel as well as official business, government and MICE tourism. Online travel agencies and wholesalers from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou will be in attendance, as will representatives from cities such as Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu and Urumqi. High-value agents from Taiwan will also attend the forum.

Among the confirmed buyers for the forum are Ctrip International, Tong Cheng International, Beijing Yougou World International (Uniway), One Tour, Top Tour and Chengdu More Trip International.

Explosive growth

Last year more than 1.13 million Chinese visitors travelled to the UAE and the early indications are that this figure will be eclipsed in 2018. First quarter results show that there was a 12% growth rate from the previous year in Dubai as 258,000 visitors travelled to the emirate, while Abu Dhabi registered a 31% increase as 127,000 tourists visited the capital.

Over the course of the forum there will be specific times allocated for B2B meetings between Chinese buyers and regional tourism suppliers, networking lunches and focused seminar sessions with experts representing both the UAE and China.

Event attendees will also attend a seminar session presented by Long Fei, director of business cooperation, China Association of Travel Services. At MeetChina 2018, Fei is presenting an introduction to the China Association of Travel Services, a national and industrial public organisation providing services for travel agencies and social organisations related to travel services.