The China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) is underway in Beijing, with the sport of snooker playing an important role.
WST is participating in CIFTIS for the first time and has an exhibition area which features a mini-size snooker table and chance to play the Snooker 19 video game. There is also a replica of the World Championship trophy and the actual China Open plate, as well as a range of snooker-themed gifts for guests and visitors.
On September 4 and 5, several forums and conferences will be held. Jason Ferguson, Chairman of WPBSA, will deliver video speeches at the International Sports Services and Trade Forum and the International Leisure Sports Tourism Development Forum, to share the successful experience of holding WST events in China and the influence brought to the host cities.
The Sports Services Special Exhibition element of CIFTIS will be held in Beijing Shougang Park from September 3 to 7, including three major exhibition areas: international sports service and trade, winter sports, and sports culture integration. The theme of the exhibition is Sport makes the city more exciting.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “Today, snooker is played by millions of people all over the world and it is a truly global sport. Our global world tour is broadcast through 27 international broadcasters as well as internet media platforms to over 120 countries, reaching 1.6 billion homes around the world.
“With household names like Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Chinese local hero Ding Junhui, snooker has some of the best known sporting figures in the world. It is also gaining a reputation as one of the few mixed gender sports where men and women compete on the same field of play.
“In China, we have partnered with the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association for almost 20 years and we have built six prestigious events, each with its own personality and each showcasing and representing its own city and culture. Through investing time and resources into those host cities, we are seeing new snooker stars arise, such as Yan Bingtao.
“Through snooker events, people all over the world not only enjoy the sporting action, but they get to know cities likes Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Yushan, and they see the beautiful scenery and PR activity. And through the social media of the players themselves, the fans experience the culture, tourism and lifestyle of being on tour at these destinations, and finding out how much our stars love these host cities in China.
“We have worked with local government on many projects, for example we have worked with our partner Xing Pai and the government in Yushan, and built the very first billiards industry town in the world. There is a snooker museum, a venue, an official world class academy, accommodation and training facilities. It is open not only to people who love snooker and billiards, but also to people who come to Yushan.
“We have also been party to assisting international trade, and agreements between Sheffield and Daqing have taken place through our introduction.
“I am proud to say that through our sport, we have been able to show the world the true beauty of China: fascinating locations, beautiful people, incredible culture, fantastic ancient and modern history. Our host cities are our friends and our partners. We are here to serve you and deliver your message to the world, and what people can come to see at your destination through the eyes of our sport. We welcome more Chinese cities to connect with us on the World Snooker Tour.”
Article by WST.