$16b in deals expected at tourism expo (China Daily)

More than 36,500 buyers and 500,000 visitors from over 50 countries and regions are expected to attend the China (Guangdong) International Tourism Industry Expo from Thursday to Sunday.

The event is being held at the China Import & Export Fair Pazhou Complex in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

The annual expo is organized by the Guangdong provincial government and the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Tourism.

Agreements for 40 projects worth 102.2 billion yuan ($16 billion) will probably be signed, according to the organizers.

Twenty-eight of the projects each have investment of more than 100 million yuan. Of these, two projects – the Baodeng Danxia Mountain International Tourism and Recreation Zone and the Danxia Mountain Industrial Park – each boast investment of more than 10 billion yuan.

Investment for each of three other projects – the Chikan Ancient Town Overseas Chinese Cultural Tourism Zone, the Doumen Rural Tourism Zone and the Huizhou Ancient Town Scenic Zone – is more than 5 billion yuan.

Launched in 2005, the event has become China’s largest tourism fair, according to Li Jianyi, director of the marketing development department of the Guangdong tourism bureau.

The expo features seven pavilions, including the China Pavilion and the Hotel Suppliers Pavilion, and will include activities such as ceremonies to celebrate contract signings, seminars, tourism promotions and food fairs.

Zhang Zhenlin, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Tourism, said the exhibition area covers 100,000 square meters and there will be 5,000 booths.

At a news conference in July on preparations for the expo, Liu Jiexiao, deputy secretary-general of the Guangdong provincial government, said the province has become the most important tourism source market in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

The province’s tourism revenue last year reached 922.7 billion yuan, and more than 7.5 million residents from Guangdong traveled overseas in 2014, Liu said.

This year’s expo will further strengthen Guangdong and China’s overseas cooperation and exchanges in tourism and improve China’s tourism image and brand awareness, he said.

New pavilions

This year’s event will feature two new pavilions – for tourism traffic and time-honored brands, Zhang said.

The Tourism Traffic Pavilion will display traffic services for airliners, caravans, high-speed railways, cruise liners and yachts.

Sixteen airlines, including China Southern Airlines, Air France, Delta Airlines and Korean Air, will attend the event.

Visitors can also watch the operation of unmanned aircraft manufactured by DJ-Innovations Technology Co, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial drones, at the pavilion.

At the Time-Honored Brands Pavilion, visitors will be offered a taste of such delicacies as Huangshanghuang sausages, Wong Lo Kat herbal tea, Beeden honey and Eagle Coin canned foods.

Food contests

The China Restaurant Expo and the Chinese Chef Festival, organized by the China Cuisine Association and the Guangdong Restaurant Association, will also be launched at the expo.

More than 10,000 chefs from around the country and representatives from the World Association of Chefs’ Societies will gather at the events, said Tan Haicheng, deputy chairman of the China Cuisine Association and executive chairman of the Guangdong Restaurant Association. Six national cuisine contests will also be held.

Meanwhile, nine renowned chefs from the Chinese mainland and overseas, including Xu Juyun, a master chef of Hunan cuisine, and Dai Long, the so-called Hong Kong god of cookery, will attend the China Summit of Gastronomy. They will make presentations and teach cooking skills.

Maritime Silk Road

As an important link for the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Guangdong has played a big role in promoting the initiatives of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the purpose of rejuvenating the two ancient trade routes.

This year’s expo will build a platform for international tourism cooperation and exchanges that focuses on the Maritime Silk Road at the International, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Pavilion.

Major countries along the Maritime Silk Road, including Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, have confirmed they will attend the event and will hold tourism promotions.

Internet experience

The expo will also make use of the Internet Plus strategy to enrich the content of the event and offer visitors a better experience. Intelligent products and equipment, including electronic navigation systems, electronic maps used for mobile phones and tourism software will be displayed at the event.

Intelligent technologies will also be used in such exhibition venues as the Tourism Hypermarket Pavilion, the International, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Pavilion and the Hotel Suppliers Pavilion.

Tourism discount

One of the seven pavilions at the expo, the Tourism Hypermarket Pavilion covers more than 10,000 square meters.

More than 10 well-known travel agencies and online travel service providers, including Guangdong China Travel Service Co, the Guangdong branch of China Youth Travel Service and tuniu.com will offer visitors 100,000 quotas for popular tourism products with discounts totaling more than 50 million yuan, according to the expo’s organizing committee.

New tourism products that feature traditional Chinese health methods and recreational agriculture will also be launched at the expo.

Visitors can also have a taste of authentic German beer at a booth for Oktoberfest, one of the world’s most famous beer festivals held annually in Munich, Germany. The expo introduced the beer festival in 2011.

Paper and electronic tickets for the expo will be distributed to the public for free. Every visitor can get up to three paper tickets at outlets of designated travel agencies or ticket booths at the expo by presenting their ID cards.

They can also get an electronic ticket by subscribing to Guangdong Lyuyou, the WeChat public account for the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Tourism, or scanning the QR code for the expo, and enter the event through a special passage for electronic tickets.

zhuanti@chinadaily.com.cn

The annual China (Guangdong) International Tourism Industry Expo has attracted large numbers of exhibitors and visitors in past years. Photos Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 09/10/2015 page9)

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