EU-China Matchmaking Between: Expand and optimise

Business matchmaking has proven to be a successful method for complementary businesses to identify one another in many commercial sectors, and as such is an important tool for EU-China Tourism Year 2018 (ECTY) events.

Not only do matchmaking events relieve participants of all the preparatory planning stages, they also allow large and small players to “finally meet in person”, or to discover heretofore unknown companies and destinations. Matchmaking thus perfectly serves a principle goal of ECTY, namely to promote less well-known destinations, sites, and cross-border itineraries. EU-China matchmaking events promote destinations themselves, the companies that provide travel to them, and other stakeholders.

The World Bridge Tourism Project’s speed dating is one such event. The first session was held at ITB China in Shanghai this past May, introducing over 100 suppliers to one another. The next World Bridge Tourism speed dating session will be in London in conjunction with the Global European Marketplace in London from 2-3 November, and just before the World Travel Market. Registration for this matchmaking event is open until 6 September at

Coming up in January 2018 is the actual launch event for ECTY, in Venice on 19 January.

ECTY will launch officially in Venice on 19 January 2018, to herald a year of educational conferences and matchmaking events to promote tourism and understanding between the EU and China. At the event, a delegation of Chinese tourism buyers will be briefed before engaging in a matchmaking event with suppliers from Europe.

In March at ITB Berlin, the largest travel trade fair, ECTY will be present and will focus on Europe’s Culture, Pan European Itineraries: River Cruising and Group Tourism. In April 2018, once again at ITB China, this time in Beijing, the spotlight will be on family travel and will provide an excellent entrée for European suppliers to this core Chinese outbound market.

In order to promulgate cross-border travel and present Europe as the unified destination that it represents to many international travellers, more attention will be on thematic travel and itineraries and specific interests, such as family travel, the arts, popular culture, and lifestyle.

The programmes are being funded by the European Commission and delivered by a consortium made up of the European Tourism Association (ETOA), the European Travel Commission (ETC) and the European Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ECTAA).

Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA said:

“The Partnerships in European Tourism programme is a bold and innovative EU-wide promotional initiative that recognises the high value of strong business relationships between supplier companies in the EU and potential customers in external origin markets. That’s why we are engaged in professional matchmaking – to help companies establish more valuable, long-term business relationships.”