Ukraine was First Presented at the Largest Tourist Exhibition in China
On April 12-14, 2016, one of the largest and most famous forums of the Chinese tourism industry - the Twelfth International Specialized Outbound Tourism Exhibition COTTM 2016 CHINA OUTBOUND TRAVEL & TOURISM MARKET took place in Beijing. Over 350 stands and pavilions have been set up at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre to present more than 40 countries and tourist destinations of the world (France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Israel, UAE, Egypt, USA, Japan, Australia, Africa and South America).
A total of about 400 companies and organizations involved in the field of outward tourism took part in the event: international and national tour operators, representatives of the hotel, transport, recreational and insurance business, government departments and agencies.
The exhibition was divided into thematic sections: Travel (seasonal holidays, business tours, children's tours, excursions, cruises, educational, ecological, extreme, adventure, sports and educational tourism); Hotel and restaurant services; Transport services (aviation, railway and bus transportation, sea and river cruise transport, car rental); Recreation (sanatoriums, boarding houses and resorts); Insurance and financial services; Tourism-related IT and telecommunication technologies. The Luxury Tourism Segment was also organized separately.
Within COTTM 2016, the "National Stand of Ukraine" was organized by efforts of the Association of Ukrainian-Chinese Cooperation (AUCC) and the Ukrainian Section of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council (UCBC) supported by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade Ukraine, which allowed to present our country's tourist potential in China for the first time at such events level.
Participants to the Ukrainian Tourist Exposition were Kyiv Sputnik, Pan Ukraine, TEZ TOUR, International Airlines of Ukraine. In addition, the tourist potential of Ukrainian cities Kyiv and Lviv as future destinations for Chinese tourists were presented by the experts of tourism departments of the Kyiv City State Administration and the Lviv City Council.
In the course of the exhibition to which at least 4.5 thousand outbound tourism representatives of China are expected according to organizers, the acquaintance with the stands and pavilions of countries and tour operators will be supplemented by a wide educational and communication program, which included a number of specialized seminars, conferences and presentations. On the first day of COTTM 2016, the Ukrainian stand hosted the presentation "Day of Ukraine" for Chinese exhibition visitors and local media representatives.
In addition to the participants of the national stand who acquainted guests to the tourist opportunities of Ukrainian companies and cities, the presentation was attended by Igor Litvin, AUCC Vice Chairman and the UCBC Ukrainian Section, permanent representative of these organizations in Beijing, Viktor Tanasiychuk, Minister Counselor for Trade and Economic Affairs of the Embassy of Ukraine in the People's Republic of China, and Vitaly Oliynyk, Chairman of the Presidium of the AUCC Executive Committee.
As the organizers and participants of the national stand hope, they managed to attract the attention of Chinese tour operators and the media to Ukraine as a new potential direction of mass outbound tourism. Thus, the first step was made in the entry of Ukraine with its tourist product to the Chinese market, which should be followed by active information and promotional activities, the promotion of Ukraine as an interesting and accessible European tourist brand, more effective state support for the tourism industry, as well as the liberalization of the visa regime for the PRC citizens.
Visa issues, apart from taking stock of participation in the exhibition, became the main topic of the meeting of the participants of the national stand with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the PRC Oleg Dyomin on April 16 on the last day of COTTM 2016. In particular, the first secretary of the Consular Department of the Embassy Liliya Samoylova informed the attendees during the meeting about the possibilities of the Ukrainian Embassy in Beijing in terms of speeding up the issuance of urgent visas that can sometimes alleviate the situation until the issue of simplification and to reduce the cost of the issuance of visas to Chinese citizens will not be solved on the legal level.
In total, the organizers of the national stand and representatives of the tourist business of Ukraine stated that the Beijing exhibition COTTM 2016 was useful and productive. They also expressed hope that such events will be held in the future with the support of state bodies and specialized associations. After all, Ukraine has a huge tourist potential, favorable geographical location, unique natural and recreational resources, a number of attractions, and an affordable pricing policy. And this, subject to persistent efforts of operators and the state, active popularization, real steps on economic reforms, visa liberalization and service improvement, will allow Ukraine to dramatically increase the number of tourists from China, and thus receive significant economic benefits from the world's powerful outbound tourism market.