Northstar Travel Media has made its first thrust into new turf in the Asian market since gaining a foothold there with the 2014 acquisition of assets from Singapore-based Contineo Media.
Its Travel Weekly China property, acquired in the Contineo deal, has launched a new single-day event, CruiseWorld China. Slated for Oct. 12 in Shanghai, China, the inaugural conference will host travel agents and cruise industry leaders at the Le Royal Meridien Shanghai.
Patterned after Northstar’s CruiseWorld conference, a four-day affair in the U.S., CruiseWorld China will feature presentations by top executives of leading cruise lines that are making more commitments to serve the Chinese and Asian travel markets. It is expected to draw up to 350 people, mostly travel agents that make up Travel Weekly China’s audience, offering the opportunity for current affairs discussion, education, networking and entertainment. Topics on the agenda include technology’s impact on consumer demand; growth trends in the China cruise market; and consumer loyalty.
"This event supports our overall mission to grow and strengthen the dialogue and business relationships with travel agents and supplier communities," said Rebecca Zhang, group publisher of Travel Weekly China, in a press release announcing the new event.
Bob Sullivan, president of Northstar’s travel group, tells Folio: that creating CruiseWorld China was timely because interest in that market continues to spike.
“There’s a lot of excitement in the cruise segment in China, and more cruise lines are either deploying new ships or redeploying existing ships to include Chinese itineraries,” he says. “It’s a hot market.”
The new conference follows through on a pledge made by Northstar CEO Tom Kemp following the Contineo deal to “launch and acquire additional brands and properties in the travel media industry in China and Asia.” At the time, he described that deal, which brought Travel Weekly Asia and Events China, among others to Northstar, as being a platform for expanding the company’s profile in the Asian market.
Since the acquisitions, Sullivan says Northstar has been busy tweaking the presentations of the products, something that will continue along with looking at other growth opportunities.
“We’ve made significant investments in the region by redesigning websites for Travel Weekly China and Asia, and M&C China, redesigning and reformatting some of the print products and investing in audience development and our database. All our products there are now BPA-audited.”