Leshan hosts international travel expo

By Zhang Zhao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-09-30 08:29:08

Focus on trade, opening-up and Silk Road cooperation

Exhibitors from more than 40 countries and regions were in Leshan in Sichuan province on Friday for the second Sichuan International Travel Expo, one of the province's most important tourism events and one of three themed expos hosted by the Sichuan provincial Party committee and government.

After the first travel expo in September 2014, the Sichuan government designated Emeishan, a region in Leshan city, as the event's permanent site.

Echoing the nation's Belt and Road Initiative, the expo this year, lasting through Wednesday, focused on the theme of "Tourism and trade, opening-up and cooperation - boosting the revitalization of the Silk Road Economic Belt".

Sichuan Governor Wei Hong said the provincial government attaches great importance to the development of tourism.

"We see tourism as a most important industry," Wei said. "We are building a world-class tourist destination centering on the provincial capital Chengdu."

Zhang Tong, mayor of Leshan, said the government used its experience from last year's expo to make improvements in all areas "from form to content".

With a goal to build a tourism gala with global reputation and influence, the organizing committee made efforts to build a platform for tourism products and services trade as well as industry exchanges.

The city of Leshan is also expected to gain competitiveness as an international tourist destination with tourism contributing more to the city's economy, according to the organizers, who added that the expo allows international exhibitors to showcase their products and find partners.

A buyer team of 18 domestic and 411 overseas tourism companies was matched by a seller team of 419 companies from across the province, to have "one-on-one" trade with total value of more than 3.5 billion yuan ($549 million).

Contracts worth more than 60 billion yuan were signed for projects in Sichuan, including nearly 20 billion yuan of projects in Leshan.

The province signed about 200 projects at last year's expo, covering a wide range of sectors including tourism infrastructure, cultural tourism and hotels.

The Emei Summit Forum was held as part of the expo, inviting officials from the World Tourism Organization, the Pacific Asia Travel Association and the United Nations World Travel and Tourism Council, experts and scholars from home and abroad, as well as entrepreneurs involved in the business.

The themes of the forum and its sub-forums included integration of culture and tourism, the development of tourism in Sichuan's mountainous areas and the sustainable development of tourism. Experts and industry insiders shared ideas on the latest business trends at the forums.

A number of research results and reports were released, including China's Most Beautiful Landscape Avenue 318/317: Report on Development of Sichuan and Tibet as World Tourism Destinations, by the UNWTO; and the Report on Mountain Tourism Development - Taking Sichuan as an Example, by the PATA.

Delegates were also taken to visit some of Sichuan's best-known sites to find out more about the province's tourism industry.

Exhibition areas for counties and districts of Leshan showcased their tourism highlights and local specialties.

Other activities took place during the expo, including a Sichuan Food Carnival, the Leshan section of the Tour of China International Road Cycling Race, an annual Contemporary Art Exhibition, the Mount Emei Cup National Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition and a series of themed performances.

The expo was open to the public from Sunday through Wednesday.

With smart travel highlighted in the expo, a section themed Internet Plus was displayed the results and development trends of the "Internet plus tourism" model. The event's official website offers online tours of the expo.

Leshan hosts international travel expo

 Leshan hosts international travel expo

Sichuan International Travel Expo Center in Leshan, where a travel expo is being held from Friday through Wednesday. chen xiaoyin for China Daily

 Leshan hosts international travel expo

The opening ceremony of the travel expo

 Leshan hosts international travel expo

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, promotes its tourism resources at the expo

 Leshan hosts international travel expo

 A 48-meter-high golden statue of Puxian on Emei Mountain, Leshan. Photos provided to China Daily

(China Daily 09/30/2015 page12)

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