Is­land Routes to fa­cil­i­tate Chi­nese travel to the re­gion

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAM -

IS­LAND ROUTES Caribbean Ad­ven­ture joined ex­hibitors from 42 coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States, France, Ger­many, Ja­pan and Malaysia at the third Sichuan In­ter­na­tional Travel Expo (SCITE) in Emeis­han, Sichuan Prov­ince, China.

The event’s pri­mary aim is to pro­vide an in­ter­na­tional tourism trad­ing plat­form for the ex­change of tourism prod­ucts and to foster pos­i­tive in­dus­try growth.

A Ja­maica-based tour and des­ti­na­tion man­age­ment com­pany, Is­land Routes at­tended the expo along­side the Ja­maica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Caribic Group of Com­pa­nies.

Dur­ing the event, the trio met with Zhang Hui, co-CEO and di­rec­tor of China Na­tional Travel Ser­vice Group Cor­po­ra­tion. The group is a re­sult of a re­cent merger be­tween CTS In­ter­na­tional and CITS Hold­ings; the newly merged com­pany be­came China’s and the world’s largest travel group.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, David Shields, Is­land Routes’ vice-pres­i­dent of sales, and Zhang dis­cussed ways in which Is­land Routes and the China Na­tional Travel Ser­vice Group can work to­gether to bet­ter fa­cil­i­tate Chi­nese out­bound travel to the Caribbean re­gion.

Shields said: “There is a huge amount of po­ten­tial in the Chi­nese out­bound travel mar­ket. In 2015, over 120 mil­lion Chi­nese ci­ti­zens trav­elled over­seas, spend­ing more than US$195 billion. The expo has been ex­tremely pro­duc­tive, and we now look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to build on our re­la­tion­ships with key play­ers in China and to pro­mot­ing the Caribbean to the Chi­nese mar­ket.”

Dr Wu, who fa­cil­i­tated the del­e­ga­tion from Ja­maica and a num­ber of other des­ti­na­tions at­tend­ing the SCITE, said: “It is time for Ja­maica to reap the ben­e­fits of the con­certed pro­mo­tional ef­forts of the JTB and pri­vate-sec­tor com­pa­nies, such as Is­lands Routes, that were in­stru­men­tal in tak­ing Ja­maica to China.

NO VISA RE­QUIRE­MENT

As a re­sult, the Chi­nese are def­i­nitely com­ing to Ja­maica and the Caribbean in greater num­bers. More and more, Chi­nese tour op­er­a­tors and ac­tual trav­ellers wish to visit much far­ther des­ti­na­tions such as Ja­maica, which re­moved the visa re­quire­ment for Chi­nese na­tion­als.”

Dr Wu is the CEO of China Busi­ness Net­work, which is the China rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the JTB. Fol­low­ing the travel expo, Shields joined Ja­maica’s Min­is­ter of Tourism, Ed­mund Bartlett, and Paul Pen­ni­cook, di­rec­tor of tourism, at the World Routes and World Tourism Sum­mit in Chengdu, the cap­i­tal of the Sichuan Prov­ince.

Sichuan has a pop­u­la­tion of 87 mil­lion and more For­tune 500 com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in and around Chengdu than any­where else in China. Chengdu is also a ma­jor out­bound gate­way for Chi­nese liv­ing in the south-west­ern parts of China.

CONTRIBUTED

From left: Zhang Hui, Co-CEO and di­rec­tor, China Na­tional Travel Ser­vice; David Shields, vi­cepres­i­dent, sales, Is­land Routes; Roy Page, CEO, Caribic Group of Com­pa­nies; and Dr Adam Wu, CEO of China Busi­ness Net­work, the China rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Ja­maica Tourist Board.

Michael Bel­navis

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