Tourism from China has grown four-fold across the UAE and the country has become Abu Dhabi’s number one international source market.
Business Bureau, Gulf Today
The eighth annual MeetChina event will kick off in the capital on September 2, with two days of intensive meetings taking place at Yas Conference Centre at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s entertainment and leisure hub. The forum this year connects more than 100 top-tier Chinese travel buyers with 75 tourism stakeholders from across the UAE with one main purpose – to grow Chinese visitation to the UAE.
Since the event was launched in 2011, tourism from China has grown four-fold across the UAE and the country has become Abu Dhabi’s number one international source market. MeetChina enables suppliers to connect with buyers during the event with 90 per cent of attendees re-booking year-on-year.
Attendance has surged in 2019 along with the rise in Chinese tourism. More than one million Chinese tourists visited the UAE in 2018 and the first half of this year has shown further double digit growth. This further underlines the importance of Chinese visitation as the UAE experiences headwinds from traditional major source markets due to economic challenges and currency fluctuations.
MeetChina is owned and organised by NPIMEDIA which partners with Mini Spider (Beijing) to pre-qualify attendance and ensure the participation of senior level buyers from companies seeking to grow outbound travel business from China to the UAE. The event is hosted by Yas Island and supported by the Department of Culture & Tourism - Abu Dhabi.
Buyer attendance at MeetChina represents a broad spectrum of locations in Mainland China, including Chengdu, Chongqing, Ningxia, Shenzhen, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou aside from Shanghai and Beijing. This reflects the growth of outbound tourism from secondary cities all over the country.
Commenting ahead of this year’s event, Rob Nicholas, managing director of NPIMEDIA said: “It has been phenomenal to be a part of the incredible tourism growth from China to the UAE. The popularity of MeetChina has meant that we had an overwhelming number of applications from buyers to attend this year and could be even more selective than usual to ensure we had not only record attendance, but also the best quality of buyers to introduce to tourism stakeholders in the UAE.” Suppliers attending MeetChina consist of government tourism organisations, hotels, destination management companies (DMCs), attractions, excursion providers and luxury retail brands.
Marina Cipriano, General Manager of Experience Hub, the trade and promotion arm of Yas Island, said, “As one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and entertainment destinations, Yas Island is thrilled to host MeetChina for the second year in a row, alongside our partners at the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and NPI Media. This forum’s mission aligns with Experience Hub’s goal to cultivate and foster relationships with global players and ensure that our visitors from China don’t miss out on the unforgettable experiences to be enjoyed at our one-of-a-kind destination. Yas Island is home to award-winning and record-breaking attractions, making it a must-include on any UAE itinerary.” Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit some of the leading attractions in the country through a hosted lunch at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, a guided tour of The Galleria - Al Maryah Island and Qasr Al Watan; as well as a gala dinner at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi; and VIP tours of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Yas Island is one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and entertainment destinations, located on the golden shores of Abu Dhabi - just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai. Yas Island offers holidaymakers a diverse mix of award-winning leisure and entertainment experiences, from one-of-a-kind theme parks, world-class shopping and superb dining, to a links golf course, exciting water and motor sports, and the most enjoyable musical and family events… all within the 25 square kilometre Island. Today, Yas Island is home to the award-winning theme parks Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, in addition to Yas Marina Circuit (home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prixtm), Yas Marina, Yas Links golf course, and Abu Dhabi’s largest mall. It boasts more than 160 dining experiences, seven hotels, and is home to indoor and outdoor concert venues - all of which are complemented by a range of visitor services that connect all attractions to one another.
Experience Hub is the trade and promotion arm for one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and entertainment destinations - Yas Island Abu Dhabi. Through its network of local, regional and international offices, the company works with travel partners to design holiday packages that provide the best entertainment value for travellers to the UAE. Based in Abu Dhabi, Experience Hub brings together expert travel and tourism professionals to manage its wide reaching trade network.