Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Shanghai High hopes for China's tourist trade

Shanghai Fair Travel Tourist PictureEverybody knows it will be a big piece of cake. But nobody knows how truly huge it can be.That ref lects a true picture of the Chinese tourism market, in the eyes of many international tourism promoters attending the ongoing China International Travel Mart 2006 (CITM 2006), Asia's largest tourism fair, which opened yesterday in Shanghai.

More than 4,100 domestic and overseas tourism authorities, travel agencies, hoteliers, airlines and caterers set up shows at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre for the largest international tourism fair ever held in the city. CITM 2006 has attracted exhibitors from 91 countries and regions,a historical high based on an increase of 12 per cent from last year when the fair was held in Kunming of Yunnan Province,said organizers.

Pinning high hopes on the growing number of Chinese tourists and business people visiting overseas,international tourism promoters took up 45 per cent of the total exhibition area, an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year.

The delegations from the United States and Canada, each led by a senior trade and tourism official, are the fair's largest exhibitors.As a strong signal to support the American tourism industry and welcome more Chinese visitors, visiting US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez showed up at the American booths of the tourism fair yesterday.The United States expects to receive 300,000 Chinese visitors this year. It is estimated that this number will double by 2010, Gutierrez said.

China travel tourist and the United States have not granted approved destination status (ADS) to each other, which has prevented many Chinese from visiting the United States as individual travellers.Gutierrez said the two countries have started to negotiate on ADS issues,a process that he said would take three to five years.By March of this year, the Chinese Government had already approved 117 overseas countries for ADS.

Meanwhile, foreign visitor arrivals in China rose 10 per cent last year from the previous year to 120 million, exhibition organizers said yesterday.Foreig n c u r renc y revenue from international tourism reached US$29.3 billion, up 13.8 per cent from 2004.

[ Source : from shanghai-star.com.cn ]
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