Sri Lanka participated at the virtual version 5 of China International Travel Mart (CITM - 2020) which was held from 16th to 18th November 2020 at Shanghai New International Expo Centre, China where the first two days of the fair was open to the trade and the third and final day was open to the public.
The ingenuity of trail blazer tribes leads with innovation, this time with a virtual travel fair – probably a global first of its kind, leading the fray. A one of kind initiative embracing and exploring technology advancements to a new level of digital innovation and accessibility is the essence of this CITM Travel Fair.
Due to the prevailing inbound travel restrictions in China for foreign nationals, the annual fair organizer, for the first time in the event history conducted CITM online, where destinations were visually present in 3D virtual pavilions linked to the main CITM virtual portal.
Sri Lanka was present together with all other participating co-exhibitors, actively conducting B2B travel business with global buyers.
The portal designed with meticulous precision proved a strategic innovation of a flourishing model in the futuristic global market place, without the unwarranted shoulder to shoulder physical segregating in the face of COVID 19 disruption of international business.
In this connection SLTPB worked with Sri Lanka Mission in Beijing, China to organize the virtual Sri Lanka participation at CITM online version, identified as a unique opportunity for the global travel trade to meet online, network, negotiate and develop their travel business with the booming Chinese market.
Challenging disadvantages and turning disruption in to a tangible benefit, CITM Travel Fair plays a pivotal role in engaging and immersing the leadership of the travelling community to a new breath of spirit and inspiration to generate happiness and relief to a world physically fenced-in by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is evident that China has emerged as one of the most significant tourism partners of Sri Lanka during the past decade, with the effective promotions launched by the SLTPB.
As a result, China became the second largest source market in terms of tourist arrivals as well as the revenue generator to the tourism industry of Sri Lanka.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 which has made a severe negative impact to the entire global tourism scenario, Sri Lanka is on a rigorous mission of rebuilding resilience with many limitations under the new normal situation, where new tourism norms and practices have been introduced across the world.
SLTPB participated at CITM online together with the industry stake holders and industry associations (who were registered with SLTDA), who stood by the trade despite difficulties and pressures faced in the new normal environment and looked forward to this opportunity to participate at CITM online on a free of charge basis. SLTPB bore the entire cost of companies who participated at CITM 2020 online.
SLTPB participated in the CITM travel fair which was included in the Annual Action Plan of the China Market for the year 2020 with the objective of increasing Chinese tourist arrival volumes to Sri Lanka especially in the segment of high end Chinese travelers visiting Sri Lanka.
An increase in the number of journalists, new tour operators and travel professionals to visit Sri Lanka is also envisaged and it has been strategized to upsurge the scale of awareness about the destination among Chinese nationals with the innovative placement in the market through this virtual destination pavilion.
SLTPB also created awareness and interest over the destination among the consumers and trade stake holders promoting Sri Lanka as a must visit destination for Chinese travelers with the provision of greater opportunities for Sri Lankan industry partners to network with the Chinese industry partners in developing their future business activities.
It was planned at pre event stage, to utilize the budget allocation of working with missions to absorb the cost of participation at CITM online in reserving digital space for Sri Lanka participation and design and setting up 3D version of Sri Lanka pavilion in the CITM online platform and accommodating Sri Lankan industry partners in the pavilion to facilitate for B2B business arrangements.
The entire concept of the China International Travel Mart (CITM) is aimed at functioning as an international exchange and trade platform for China’s outbound tourism. Based on CITM’s previous online platform, the CITM Online Fair features optimized functions through technological innovation and upgrading, so as to serve as a powerful supplement to the offline travel trade fair. It significantly expanded the outcomes and influence of CITM.
This optimization and upgrading aims to create an IT-based trade fair service system that is more advantageous and efficient in terms of organizing cost, exhibition duration, exchange and trade, data storage, scale control, safety and other hitherto unimagined dimensions.
The highlights of these Online-offline duel platforms are realizing perfect presentation. The event pivoted round intelligent-matching and face-to-face trade talks culminating in a data push and B2B and B2C targeted marketing.
The ultimate technology and marketing techniques of the future has been utilized strategically in encapsulating the essence of driving headfirst in to the future today, with a digitalized, multidimensional and multimedia exhibition in the cloud. And, on an inspired note, the conference and event live-streaming seamlessly bridged the vacuum between demand and supply.
This online exhibition will be accessible throughout the next 6 months for 84 Sri Lankan travel and hospitality businesses who gained access through registration with SLTPB at the onset. The organizers voiced optimism that through the addition of more and more travel agents from China, the travel businesses participating from all over the world are expected to reap more business from China.
Challenging disadvantages and turning disruption in to a tangible benefit, CITM plays pivotal role in engaging and immersing the leadership of the travelling community to a new breath of spirit and inspiration to generate joy and relief to a world physically fenced-in by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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