China International Travel Mart

(Shanghai) The past two days I have been traveling the world – in terms of booths at least – at the China International Travel Mart (CITM).

Among the largest travel fairs in the world – and the largest in Asia – this event was attended by dozens of minister-level guests, tourism ministries and local travel authorities. Exhibitors to this show include tourism organizations, travel services, hotels, airlines and related travel companies from China’s thirty-four provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, and Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and also from almost 100 countries and regions all over the world.

It’s a little bit misleading, though, when you talk of local tourism authorities for as populous a country as China when one province alone can have the size and population of a mid-sized European nation. So much to discover. The fair was colourful, with the customary dance, folklore and buzz.

The fair itself was divided into five main halls, three of which devoted primarily to Chinese travel service providers, while the final two halls had international boots from Tanzania to Togo, Peru to Finland. I personally meandered through the halls collecting information, talking to representatives from tourist boards throughout the world – learning about a host of countries like Samoa, Namibia, Zambia or Oman. It was a golden opportunity for me to inquire about tourism promotion strategies of a variety of countries.
Performance at CITM Opening Ceremony

Performance at CITM Opening Ceremony

This morning we prepare to leave Shanghai, crossing to Ningbo on the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, the longest trans-oceanic bridge of the world. We will stop at Ninghai, visiting the ancient town of Qiantong before stopping over at the Ninghai hot springs.

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