May 19, 2012
China is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets and many countries are already courting the Asian giant to put its eyes on their respective tourism destinations. Keeping up with its intensive campaign worldwide, Colombia staged in recent days two promotional presentations and professional trade workshops in Shanghai and Beijing, targeting at the Chinese market as a promising source of visitors to the South American country.
A high level Colombian delegation, headed by the nation’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism; the Vice-minister and high officials from the private and public tourism sector, associated around ProExport Colombia, the country’s Exports and Tourism Promotion Board; led the events, which drew the attention of over 60 Chinese tour operators, interested in learning first-hand about the varied attractions of the Andean country.
The presentations featured an Introduction by the Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Dr. Oscar Rueda, who highlighted the tourism resources of Colombia, including its fascinating Caribbean coast, which boasts superb and modern infrastructure, historic cities and a host of activities; as well as the Highlands and the increasingly famous “Coffee Routes”, among a myriad of natural and cultural attractions. On the opening remarks, the Colombian Minister expressed his hopes that Colombia becomes “the most favorite tourism destination in South America”, while remarking that the 45 million inhabitants of Colombia “will always welcome Chinese tourists”.
The promotional events were fully supported by the Embassy of Colombia in China. The Commercial Counselor, Mr. Alejandro Ossa-Cardenas, remarked the fact that Colombia has been an important economic partner of China. “With Chinese investment sharply increasing in Colombia, we also hope to see more Chinese tourists coming to visit our country”, the official concluded.
The visit was prepared with the valuable support of the China Business Network. The Organization’s COO provided the visiting delegation with practical training about the knowledge and understanding of the unique characteristics of the outbound travel from China and how to reach the Chinese outbound travel trade in the most cost-effective way, as well as how to cater for Chinese visitors.
Meanwhile, the Chinese tour operators eagerly attended the events in search of new attractions, resources and destinations to meet the growing requirements of Chinese travelers. In this regard, the B2B Workshops provided the opportunity to learn more about the tourism attractions, resources and facilities which Colombia offers and served as the occasion to find and develop good partnerships. One of the attending local buyers affirmed that the events were “helpful for us in order to have more knowledge and information about Colombia and furthermore to develop our business”. The presentations and business rounds provided the opportunity for guests and hosts to actively negotiate and explore practical ways to achieve hands-on cooperation and marketing affiliations.
The overall balance was extremely positive according to the evaluations made both by the visiting sellers as well as by the hosting buyers and served as a great opportunity to promote a rapid development of inbound tourism to Colombia, on the promising travel market of China.