Island Routes to facilitate Chinese travel to the region
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.
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.