Thursday, June 21, 2007

BITE (Beijing International Tourism Expo) Day 1

Dear Members,
Greeting from Beijing.

The first day of the show kicked off with fireworks and a lot of fanfare. The Timor Leste stand was besieged for the first half of the day as visitors crowded round to get their "goody bags" containing booklets about Timor Leste prepared by the Embassy in Beijing. The Sagres Garden free key ring went down well.
Most frequently asked question: "Where is it??". It's still early days for us in this market. Many of the visitors to the stand were actually looking to sell holidays in China. If any members are interested in details, please email me and I will pass on your questions.
Another popular approach was from those selling advertising within China or offering agency representation.
For me, the pick of the day was from a Dutch travel agent, Mr A. Flach from Flach Travel Company. He arranges holidays for small groups (around 8 at a time) looking for adventure holidays. He would like to receive emails from:
Eco D
Vila Harmonia
Dive Timor Lorosae
and various hotels at different price levels.
He's looking for a combination of these companies to put together a sample package involving land tours, diviing and cultural activities for experienced travellers who have seen it all and want something new.
His website is:
He was really quite enthusiastic. Get in touch and sell him your wares. The company's motto is "When travelling is part of your life....". I reckon they're a good fit for Timor Leste.

Travel agent Li Ran operates from the Great Wall Sheraton in Beijing. She's interested in exploring the idea of selling packages to Timor Leste, and also in acting as Chinese agent for Timor Leste companies. Contact her on email: and

George Wei from Let's Discover The World! U-cafe, U-backpacker's club also showed some interest. Contact him at Website: He normally takes groups to Indonesia, especially Java and Malaysia but is looking for something new.

Star Shine Tours is involved in diving in the Red Sea. General Manager Mahmoud Fawzy would be happy to cross-market (I'll send you mine if your send me yours) with Dive centres in Timor Leste (Attention: Dive Timor Lorosae and FreeFlow). email and website

Advertising prospects for those wishing to enter the Chinese market:
Ali Wei from Shanghai Jinqi'ao Industries has proposed a scheme where you get advertising on local Chinese TV channels (CCTV - includes one English language channel) which links up to a call centre in China, which contacts a local agent who passes the bookings on to you in Timor Leste, on a commission basis. They have wide tourism experience but also could work with other types of business. Contact him on website

And finally:
Travel Abroad Online ( looks like a pretty good website specialising in worldwide travel for the independent tourist. Senior Customer Manager Lydian Rong says that the company will design a website in Chinese for you, and carry out regular updates ; this for a yearly fee of US$5980! Mind you, they get 1.200.000 hits per day... where would they all sleep in Dili? Explore this further with Lydian via email on

We took in about a hundred business cards all up at the Timor Leste stand and the Embassy staff did a number of press interviews. If you would like any further info or specific contacts, let me know by email.

Viva Timor Leste

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