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Guangzhou expo to help forge Belt and Road tourism ties

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-25 12:46

The 2017 China International Tourism Industry Expo will play a significant role in expanding tourism cooperation between countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, a senior tourism official has predicted.

Zeng Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Administration, said the event, to be held in Guangzhou from Sept 8 to 10, will present myriad opportunities for travel agencies and businesses from home and abroad.

"The tourism industry and Sino-foreign cooperation have great potential for development after the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing this month," Zeng said on Wednesday.

An estimated 150 million Chinese are expected to visit countries involved in the initiative by 2020, spending more than $200 billion, he said, adding that tourism departments and travel agencies should seize the opportunities to work with foreign counterparts.

Guangdong should also develop tourism by advancing cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opens this year, Zeng said.

The province is a major tourist destination, receiving 12.89 million visitors from home and abroad over the recent May Day holiday. The income from entrance tickets to scenic spots totaled 532 million yuan ($77.35 million).

Vasin Ruangprateepsaeng, Thailand's consul general in Guangzhou, said this year is the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and that there are many opportunities to strengthen industrial cooperation between member countries and China, especially in tourism.

"China is the world's largest outbound tourism market, with ASEAN countries popular destinations for Chinese," he said.

He added that 8.8 million Chinese visited Thailand last year, and the figure is expected to surpass 9.2 million this year.

The China International Tourism Industry Expo 2017 is to be held at the Guangzhou Pazhou International Convention and Exhibition Center and will include a Belt and Road international exhibition hall.

Covering an area of more than 90,000 square meters, the expo will host more than 4,500 booths. More than 20,000 professional buyers and 500,000 visitors from 60 countries and regions are expected to attend the event.

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