ETC Announces Travel Trade Show with China, MEPs Denounce Human Rights Abuses in China

The European Travel Commission (ETC) will be hosting its first EUROPE Virtual Travel Trade Show in China from 19-23 April 2021, according to an announcement published by the Travel Commission.

The purpose of the event will be to connect European destinations and travel companies with buyers in China, and to get the two parties more ready for a successful recovery of Chinese tourism to Europe.

“Europe has remained the first-choice long-haul destination for Chinese travelers throughout the pandemic, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming back Chinese visitors to enjoy our renowned tourism resources including diverse nature, creative cities, and rich history. As the ETC’s first virtual event for the China market, the EUROPE Travel Trade Show in China aims to kick start the recovery process, empowering European destinations and tourism providers to make essential connections for future business through an innovative, multi-functional digital platform,” said Zuzanna Gutkowska, Chairperson of the ETC China Chapter.

The trade show will focus on nature, creative cities, and history and ancestry.

The event could mean that Chinese tourism to the Schengen Area and EU is going to be restarted sooner rather than later, leading to a more stable and sustainable recovery through real partnerships being formed.

The trade show will be a business-to-business (B2B) event, meaning that there is a select list of people who are invited to attend. It will also be 100% online so that the more-than 200 pre-qualified buyers can attend on any device.

The trade show is co-funded by the government of the European Union.

The news of the trade show comes at the same time that the European Parliament is condemning continued human rights abuses by the government of China and powerful Chinese individuals, particularly the Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Province of China, which has been described as a genocide. The Parliament is also condemning the Chinese government’s repression of people who do not agree with them, and their interference in democracy worldwide, particularly in the West.

“Regarding the situation in China, we reiterate our serious concerns about the abuses in the country, in particular the persecution of the Uighur minority in the province of Xinjiang, and the repression of all dissenting and opposition voices. We firmly condemn these acts and the Chinese government’s recent attempts to interfere in the democratic life of our nations and our European Union,” the Parliament’s statement reads.

The EU has placed sanctions against several Chinese individuals, officials, and one entity connected to the sustained human rights abuses in the country. The Chinese government has responded by placing sanctions against unnamed European individuals in retaliation.

“We take note of the decision by the Chinese authorities to impose sanctions in retaliation to the Council’s decision of 22 March to impose sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity,” the Parliament’s statement reads. The announcement of the trade show by the ETC and the public announcement of condemnation of actions taken by the Chinese government were published one day apart.

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