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China: Fair offers taste of the wider world for travel

Shanghai will host its first consumer-focused World Travel Fair from February 19 to 22 at the …

Shanghai will host its first consumer-focused World Travel Fair from February 19 to 22 at the Pudong New International Expo Center.

The first day is open to trade people and the other three days aim at general consumers.

A two-year collaborative effort between the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission and VNU Exhibitions Asia has attracted more than 340 companies from 39 countries and regions, and 55 companies from China`s mainland for the fair.

The rising number of China`s approved destination status countries brings more common people into the market for overseas trips, and it`s the right time to showcase information about outbound tourism, said Dao Shuming, deputy director of the commission.

Yesterday morning, just before the official announcement of the fair, 12 European Union countries signed an agreement with the National Tourism Bureau in Beijing to become authorized destination countries.

Tourist visas for those countries may be available from May.

The exhibition, which mixes entertainment and useful information, is expected to attract at least 50,000 members of the public and 8,000 trade visitors, according to Michiel Kruse, director of VNU Exhibitions Asia.

The 4,500-square-meter hall will be divided into sections for Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America and Africa, where the information about the countries concerned can be easily found, he said.

Kruse said the usual exhibits will be joined by 30 travel destination promotions, 13 professional presentations about the travel market and 22 stage performances, and the exhibition will become an annual event.

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