I HAD the great pleasure of participating in the Express Travel Group (ETG) conference in Shanghai China over the
weekend and want to do a big shout out to the ETG team for once again putting together a rich agenda and opening everyone’s minds to the future. There were plenty of issues being discussed within agency owners who attended and as I
always say, I love feedback. So a further shout out to the ETG members – it was great to see so many of you there.
As a city, Shanghai really does impress. It is the third largest city in the world with a whopping 23 million people, behind Tokyo (38 million) and Delhi (25 million). What really took me and many of the conference delegates was that for such
a large city, the area that we stayed in, The Bund, was amazingly empty.
It just goes to show that a city well managed with the right infrastructure can be successful and Shanghai is on the case
when it comes to infrastructure. When you make the comparisons to cities in Australia where they are about 20% of the size and look at the traffic, people movement, roads & other general infrastructure, we have a lot to learn.
The other thing that struck me this time, (I have been to Shanghai about four times) was the friendliness and happiness
of the people working in the hotels, restaurants and the shops, where they want to serve you and while there are still a few “lost in translation” English challenges, the overall experience was stellar. China is a mainstream destination now for sure, as there are plenty of flight options, multiple city options and so much to see and do.
As Travel Daily readers know I am the current Vice Chairman of the World Tourism Alliance (WTA) which is based in the
beautiful city of Hangzhou. Much of the work the WTA is doing is to foster greater relationships across the global travel value chain to help everyone gain a better understanding of just how much China wants to have a successful tourism industry, and I can assure you, they are committed to that. China is a fast-paced growing market for Australians to explore and now more are thinking about it as a stopover destination for onward experiences to Europe.
For all those who are yet to get there, I would strongly suggest to take a look at how much there is to offer.
Xiexie (thank you in Chinese