Europe Asia Global Link Enterprise (EAGLE) – the newly launched joint venture created by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) and VNU Exhibitions Asia – is set to develop trade show business between China and Italy.
The new venture is officially in business, following the formal establishment of its board of directors. During a meeting held on 7 March 2018 in Shanghai (EAGLE’S base of operation), Corrado Facco, IEG’s MD, was appointed of chairman of the EAGLE Board, while David Zhong, president of VNU Exhibitions Asia, was appointed VC.
Emanuele Guido, head of Group Strategy and International Business Development at IEG, will serve as an EAGLE director, while Shine Liu, VP of VNU Exhibitions Asia, has taken on the role of executive director. Davide Gabaldo – IEG’s legal director – has overseen the establishment of EAGLE from a corporate perspective.
The meeting was held at the Italian General Consulate in Shanghai, in the presence of Italian Consul general, Stefano Beltrame, and Italian trade commissioner, Massimiliano Tremiterra.
EAGLE will serve to develop business interests in the Far East in the wellness, green technology, hospitality and tourism sectors. For VNU Exhibition Asia, a company belonging to Utrecht Expo, EAGLE will provide additional opportunities to consolidate its commercial relations with companies in East Asia.
IEG currently hosts TTG Travel Experience at its Rimini Expo Centre, which takes place 10-12 October 2018. Two EAGLE events have been scheduled for 2018: the 15th Shanghai World Travel Fair and Travel Trade Market (TTM).
Shanghai World Travel Fair, or SWFT, will take place from 24-27 May, and will bring an expected attendance of more than 500 exhibitors from around the world, and 13,000 buyers and visitors, mainly from east China. SWFT will combine merges both B2B and B2C, with a focus on China’s growing outbound tourism market.
TTM will take place in the southwestern Chinese province of Chengdu, Sichuan from 5-7 September. It is a B2B event for inbound and outbound Chinese tourism operators, and offers international exhibitors the opportunity of meeting tourism professionals from secondary and tertiary cities in the central and western regions of China.
Before taking EAGLE into its operational phase, the joint venture partners conducted a survey during the Chengdu Travel Trade Market Business Forum 2017, in order to gauge market interest; and conducted 1,000 business meetings during the TTM preview, consulting with some 60 international buyers, from more than 17 countries as well as tourism companies.
The new venture has already concluded an agreement with the European Tourism Association (ETOA), which is an association in Europe of tour operators and tourism industry suppliers, to explore and secure greater commercial opportunities in the Chinese market.
The World Tourism Organisation reported that 135m Chinese tourists travelled abroad in 2016, which is up six per cent from the number registered a year earlier. The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) estimated that the tourism sector grew by a further four per cent in 2017. The amount spent during oversees travel by Chinese citizens exceeded US$261bn, which, in 2016, representing a 12 per cent increase from the previous year.
A record 5.8m number of tourists (from China) booked overnight stays in Italy in 2016 – up by 400,000, compared from 2015. According to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), during the first six months of 2017, a 14 per cent increase was recorded in the number of visa applications, with a rise in applications up 22 per cent for individual trips and a 10 per cent increase for group trips.