Preparations for the Tourism and Travel-Related Services Thematic Exhibition of the 2020 CIFTIS

Source:    |      Date:2020-08-21

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  The CIFTIS is jointly hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality. It is the world's first comprehensive exhibition in the field of service trade and an important window for China's service industry to open up. CIFTIS, along with China International Import Expo (CIIE) and China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair), has become one of the three major exhibition platforms for China's opening-up that constitute an all-round opening-up and cooperation promotion system for comprehensive development of Made in China" and "Services of China" in the new era, as well as the joint display of import potential and export advantages. The 2020 CIFTIS will be held in early September in Beijing, and the Tourism and Travel-Related Services Thematic Exhibition, as one of the eight thematic sectors, will be concurrently held on the ground floor of the CNCC. Hosted by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, with the theme of "Travel connects the world, Travel lights up the life” and three core contents: "Exhibition, Forum, Conference" to be established in the vital function of tourism in boosting international exchanges and the development of service trade, the Tourism and Travel-Related Services Thematic Exhibition of the 2020 CIFTIS aims to connect international and domestic business talk resources and strives to create a new platform for trade in tourism and travel-related services through “online and offline” exhibitions and two forums.

  I. Development of Beijing's trade in tourism and travel-related services

  Beijing's tourism industry was born out of serving the overall situation of national diplomacy. It was the earliest window industry in China that opened up to the outside world. It has witnessed the historical development process of Beijing's trade in tourism and travel-related services from nothing to flourishing. Taking the lead in the establishment of foreign-related hotels, inbound and outbound tourism business operations, and the market-oriented reform of the tourism industry, Beijing ranked first in several aspects in China. Over the past four decades, Beijing has made every effort to promote the high-quality development of trade in tourism and travel-related services through its leading role and demonstration effect, as well as innovation and breakthrough. Beijing's trade in tourism and travel-related services represented by inbound tourism has resonated with the reform and opening-up. At the beginning of the reform and opening up, the number of annual inbound visitors was 187,000 person-times. The number was more than 1 million in 1987, 2 million in 1993, 3 million in 2002, 4 million in 2007, and a historical peak of 5.204 million in 2011. Beijing’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism strongly support the country’s construction. Over the past 40 years, Beijing has achieved a total of RMB 95.55 billion in foreign exchange earnings from tourism, accounting for 10.9% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings from tourism. Guided by inbound tourism, the domestic tourism market has gradually developed. In 1994, Beijing received 70 million domestic tourists, more than 100 million for the first time in 2000, and over 200 million in 2011. In 2017, Beijing received 290 million person-times of domestic tourists, 4.4 times that of 1994; Beijing's tourism revenue was RMB 29.80 billion in 1994, and RMB 512.24 billion in 2017, 17.2 times that of 1994. In 2019, Beijing received 320 million person-times of tourists, achieving tourism revenue of RMB 622 billion. Beijing has China's first travel agency to provide foreigners with international tourism services, first joint venture hotel, and was the first to propose the concept of tourism industry management in China. Beijing also takes the lead in China in opening up its tourism industry. In 2016, Beijing formulated China's first Management Measures for the Pilot Work of Chinese-Foreign Joint Venture Travel Agencies to Launch Outbound Tourism Business. Up to now, there are 32 foreign-invested tourism entities in Beijing. It also introduced internationally renowned theme park projects. The first phase of the Universal Studios Resort project will be completed within this year, which is expected to open in next May. Beijing Capital International Airport has been ranked as the second busiest airport in the world for eight consecutive years. The newly opened Beijing Daxing International Airport has an annual passenger throughput of 100 million person-times. The new era of the two international airports in Beijing will support the building of Beijing into a world-class international aviation hub. Beijing took the lead in implementing the transit visa exemption policy and the departure tax rebate policy for overseas passengers. In 2017, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei jointly implemented the transit visa exemption policy for 53 countries. In 2015, Beijing took the lead in implementing a shopping departure tax rebate policy for overseas travelers. In 2016, Beijing and Tianjin realized the interconnection of departure tax rebates. The tax rebate sales in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 were RMB 122 million, 161 million, 226 million, and 344 million, respectively, with an average annual growth rate of more than 30%. In 2019, Beijing adopted the convenient payment of departure tax rebate through WeChat and Alipay. In 2012, the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the world's first city-based global international tourism organization, was settled in Beijing.

  II. Preparations for the tourism and travel-related services sector

  (I) The investment and exhibition attraction work is basically completed. The tourism and travel-related services thematic exhibition area is located in the exhibition hall on the ground floor of the CNCC, covering an area of 10,000 square meters. Three major areas of Charming Beijing, Beautiful China and Colorful World are set along with the concurrently held exhibitions online. In the exhibition attraction work, we have overcome the difficulties caused by the global epidemic on investment and exhibition attraction, and issued invitations through multiple channels and multiple rounds. Up to now, more than 700 exhibitors in and out of China have determined to participate online or offline exhibitions and registered, including more than 460 exhibitors and buyers in Mainland China, accounting for 66.4%, and more than 240 international exhibitors and buyers, accounting for 33.6%. The actual exhibition area of the offline exhibition is 5000 square meters, and the exhibition invitation work has been completed. (II) Preparations for the forum activities go smoothly. A main forum and a sub-forum will be held during the exhibition. The main forum "World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development" is hosted by the WTCF, and the sub-forum "Health & Wellness International Forum" is jointly hosted by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism and the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies. Both forums are held in an “online and offline” combined mode. It is expected to release 4 authoritative release achievements and 2 agreements achievements. Currently, all preparations for the forums are proceeding smoothly. (III) Negotiations and invitations are proceeding in an orderly manner. Considering the regular epidemic situation, we need to actively innovate the organization of business talks, gather resources, target invitations, conduct online and offline simultaneous business talks, and organize professional buyer tours to achieve precise business talks and transaction services between exhibitors and buyers. The cloud technology platform will be employed to achieve remote point-to-point negotiation for online exhibition; professional buyer tour activities will be organized and hundreds of professional buyers invited to negotiate face-to-face with exhibitors for offline exhibition. At present, 100 international buyers and 123 domestic buyers have determined to participate in the online and offline business talks.

  III. Features and highlights of the tourism and travel-related services sector

  (I) Focus on the functional positioning of Beijing and promote international exchanges and economic & trade exchanges. Focusing on the functional positioning of Beijing as an international exchange center, we need to highlight the internationality in attracting investment and exhibitors, invite foreign embassies in China, foreign tourism bureaus, international organizations and professional international buyers to participate in the online fair, thus highlighting the advantages of the service trade that can be synchronized online and offline, and promoting international exchanges and economic and trade exchanges. For example, we can invite the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), initiated by Beijing and the world's first city-based global international tourism organization, as the international partner of the fair, showing the achievements of WTCF in promoting exchanges between tourism cities, non-governmental diplomacy, and the development of international tourism investment and financing since its establishment, and showing the high-quality tourism resources of more than 200 member cities and their firm confidence in the development of international tourism. (II) Focus on showing the development achievements of tourism and travel-related services and publicizing the opening-up and potential of China's tourism market. The twelve professional sectors will display wonderful content in the comprehensive exhibition area on the first floor of the CNCC. The most representative units of the industry will be organized to exhibit at tourism and travel-related services sector, including one international organization in the tourism industry – the WTCF, and two leading enterprises in China's tourism industry – China Tourism Group and Beijing Tourism Group. As important practitioners and promoters of the development of trade in tourism and travel-related services, the three units will highlight their leading roles in the industry by combining their own characteristics in the exhibition theme and content. (III) Comprehensively promote the tourism destination resources and tourism-generating region resources of Beijing as an international exchange center and a national cultural center. Relying on important national economic and trade activity platforms, we need to comprehensively display the overall image, characteristic resources and work achievements of Beijing as a world tourism destination, mainly including exhibition of seven world cultural heritages and three cultural belt construction, tourism-driven poverty alleviation and well-off exhibition, tourism-benefiting-the-people public service exhibition, and Beijing suburb tourism boutique homestay exhibition. The bureaus of culture and tourism of Beijing's 16 districts and the Publicity and Culture Department of Yizhuang Economic Development Zone will all participate in the fair and organize nearly a hundred enterprises to fully display the high-quality tourism resources, characteristic products and development achievements of each district. (IV) Actively apply scientific and technological means to upgrade the way of organizing exhibitions, and create a never-ending tourism thematic exhibition. In order to meet the requirements of regular prevention and control of the COVID-19, this fair will be upgraded to an "offline + online” combined mode. Offline exhibitions focus on image display and interactive experience. Online exhibitions focus on professional business talks and transactions, aiming to realize exhibitor information display, remote promotion of tourism destinations, and remote point-to-point business talks through cloud technology platforms. In addition, online exhibitions will be held all year round to create a never-ending tourism thematic exhibition. (V) Actively respond to the epidemic and restart the tourism market. In order to actively respond to the significant impact of the global COVID-19 on the tourism industry, the tourism and travel-related services thematic exhibition facilitates the connection between the tourism industry and the health industry through exhibitions, conferences, and business talks, creating a new format of healthy tourism, and promoting integrated development of tourism and health in the post-epidemic era. This helps to boost confidence in and revitalize the tourism industry. We hope that those who care about the development of the tourism industry can discover new opportunities, study new problems, and find new development directions through the exhibitions, forums and business talks, thus promoting the healthier and more sustainable development of the tourism industry.