Editorial: Pigs can fly – Manchester Airport wins CTW Award for welcoming Chinese travellers

Awards presented at ITB China in Shanghai to 30 companies and organisations

by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS

Dear readers,

For the 16th time the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, based in Hamburg and Shanghai, has named tourism service providers from all continents as winners of the CTW Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards.

China is by far the biggest international tourism outbound travel source market and with the growing experience of Chinese travellers, destinations and tourism companies have to be more and more specific in their preparations for this group of customers.

In 2019, the CTW Award was presented for the second year running by COTRI in partnership with Ctrip, the major Online Travel Agency in China. The CTW Award is given in five categories, including Innovation, Marketing, Service Quality, Internet/Media and Overall performance. The organisers received more applications than ever before, which led the jury to decide that this year for the first time, beside the usual gold, silver and bronze awards, two more honorary awards were distributed. Altogether 30 companies and organisations from almost 20 different countries appeared on the stage at the ITB China in Shanghai to receive the award.

The Gold Winners included Albatros Expeditions, a Danish company specialised in bringing Chinese to Arctic and Antarctic surroundings, Viking, a river cruise company which transports Chinese travellers with an all-Chinese crew along the Danube, as well as the  Tourism Boards of South Africa and Peru for their outstanding marketing and use of internet. The Airport of Manchester snatched the Overall performance award with their long-standing support of the Chinese market and their Year-of-the-Pig mascot. Each of the Gold winners gave a presentation to the more than 100 tourism professionals in the audience about their achievements.

There were also many remarkable examples of the right way to address and cater for Chinese visitors among the other winners. Those being Compass Edge, a Hong Kong based provider of specialised WeChat mini-programs for hotels or a small Portuguese company which sells to Chinese visitors the experience of a clear and unpolluted night sky as it will never be seen in the big Chinese cities. Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Tourism also received awards, and many more.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of COTRI: “It is encouraging to see that more and more tourism service providers on all continents are showing a deeper understanding of the specific needs and wants of the different kind of Chinese travellers. However, there is still more work to do as the expectations of Chinese are growing with the level of experience.”

Ctrip, the partner of COTRI, is the largest Online Travel Agency in China and a pioneer for the major trend in Chinese outbound tourism in 2019: Customization. This approach lies in the middle between package tours with strangers following a fixed schedule and FITs who have to spend a lot of time to plan everything for themselves.

CTW Award Winners 2019:

Product Innovation:

Gold: Albatros Expedition
Silver: Compass Edge Limited
Bronze: Kaytrip
Bronze: Dark Sky Association
Honorary: Foundation Leuchtenburg
Honorary: Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board

Service Quality:

Gold: Viking Cruises
Silver: The English Lake District Forum
Bronze: Universal Vision
Bronze: Goodtime Travel
Honorary: Ctour Holiday
Honorary: Hastings Hotels Group


Gold: PromPeru
Silver: Dubai Duty Free
Bronze: London North Eastern Railway
Bronze: Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority
Honorary: Star Entertainment Group
Honorary: El Corte Ingles


Gold: South African Tourism Beijing Office
Silver: Slovenian and Croatian Tourism Boards
Bronze: Royal Caribbean Cruises Service (China)
Bronze: Polish National Tourist Office Beijing
Honorary: Phuket Yingjaroen
Honorary: The British Museum

Overall Performance:

Gold: Manchester Airport
Silver: Dubai Tourism
Bronze: Jamaica Tourist Board
Bronze: Polish National Tourist Office Beijing
Honorary: Phuket Yingjaroen
Honorary: The British Museum

For further information, please visit our website www.china-outbound.com/ctw-awards

Wolfgang Georg Arlt and the COTRI WEEKLY Team