Italy is stepping up its game in the increasingly competitive sport of luring cash-rich Chinese tourists away from other destinations. The newly formed trade show operator Italian Exhibition Group- an organization that counts Matteo Marzotto as part of its management team- said Monday it is launching a new business-to-business trade show called Travel Trade Market in Chengdu.

The new show, which will run Oct. 24 to 26 next year is the fruit of a joint venture between Italian Exhibition Group and Chengdu-based trade show operator Vision Fair China. CTA China Tourism Academy, a Chinese government entity that promotes tourism, is also a partner in the initiative. Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza, two regional trade fair operators, merged to form Italian Exhibition Group in October.

The new fair expects to host some 600 exhibitors, including tour operators, airlines, cruise lines, tour bus companies and hotel groups. A section of the fair will be dedicated to start-up tourism companies in China. Marzotto, vice president of Italian Exhibition Group, made the announcement about the event on Monday in Beijing at the Italian Embassy.

Italian Exhibition Group noted that the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad rose 4.1 percent in the first six months of the year. But it is also clear that tourists are spending less when they get to their destinations, according to Global Blue and Barclays.

Barclays said last week that Chinese consumers’ spending slid yet again in October– this was the eighth consecutive negative monthly result for the indicator. But the decline in spending appears to be slowing: spend by Chinese tourists fell 7.6 percent in October, compared with 14.4 percent in September.

Barclays reiterated that the recent “daigou” crackdown measures enacted by the Chinese government continue to put pressure on Chinese consumer travel and spending abroad. Fears of more terrorist attacks and visa changes in Europe have also put a damper on spending, the bank concluded.

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