Foreign and Military Affairs

Expo promotion campaign launched in Italy

Updated: 2010-03-16 10:59
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ROME - The official promotion campaign of Shanghai World Expo was launched here on Monday by Italian and Chinese officials in an opening ceremony featuring traditional dragon dances.

The world event was presented by China's National Tourism Office in Italy, headed by Xiong Shanhua. Chinese ambassador Sun Yuxi and Caterina Cittadino, director of the Italian Government's Department of Tourism Development and Competitiveness, took part in the ceremony.

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Sun stressed that the Shanghai Expo was a unique chance "to promote trade and friendship between world nations", in particular between China and Italy who will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year.

At the Expo a special focus will be given to tourism and bilateral tourism cooperation. The six-month world event represents an important occasion to spread awareness on China's destinations and the task of promotion is competence of the various Chinese tourism offices around the world, Xiong explained.

"The Expo is not just the arriving destination point in Shanghai, but it symbolizes the starting point for the encounter of all countries. Shanghai embraces the entire world."

Xiong announced the visit of a Chinese delegation of tourism entrepreneurs in Italy later in the year, who for one entire month will be traveling around the country to present China and the Shanghai Expo.

For Caterina Cittadino, the relationship between Italy and China is special with regards to tourism.

"Despite our much diversity, Italy and China feel culturally close to one another. This is why the Italian government has greatly invested in boosting cultural and tourist exchanges and we look forward to a stronger collaboration between tour operators."

Cittadino said that several of Italy's best practices in tourism will be showcased at the Expo, noting that it stood as an opportunity to strengthen the perception in China of the Italian brand, which is already much loved in the country.

The official presentation of the Shanghai Expo in Rome was the first of a series to be organized across Italy. The same promotion ceremony will take place in coming days as well in Florence, Milan and Parma.