China / Society

Travel mart sees record number of foreign players

By Su Zhou in Shanghai ( Updated: 2014-11-16 13:44

With China witnessing a boom in the tourism industry, an international expo held in Shanghai recently saw a record number of overseas travel providers, said an official from China National Tourism Administration.

China International Travel Mart (CITM) 2014, the largest professional travel mart in Asia, was held from Nov 14-16.

"We saw overseas industry representatives from about 106 countries and regions, an increase by 124 percent from last year," said Li Shihong, head of the marketing and international cooperation department at the China National Tourism Administration.

The number of overseas representatives is the highest recorded since 1998, Li said.

CITM has drawn the attention of people in the tourism industry worldwide. As an annual event, it is held in Shanghai and Kunming alternately. The United States was the guest country of honor this year.

Li said the reason why CITM drew so much attention is the booming tourism market of China.

"With the government support, Chinese tourism industry has grown quickly in the past few years and contributed a lot to the world tourism industry," said Li. "Besides, more local government are promoting their tourism resources at home and aboard which has also attracted overseas attention."

The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) introduced authentic Indian Country tourism to the Chinese travel market for the first time at the CITM.

"Through data collected at venues, such as International Pow Wow, and studies by the US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, we can see that China's interest in Indian Country is growing quickly," said Camille Ferguson, AIANTA executive director.

"Indian Country has an abundance of cultural tourism to offer to the world and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to help this market discover Native America," Ferguson said.


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