World tourism industry heads to Beijing expo

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International tourism operators are this week flocking to the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2010 as they aim to tap in to what has become a lucrative outbound Chinese tourism market.

BITE ( will this year be held June 25-27 at the China International Exhibition Center and the event has attracted more than 700 local and international exhibitors from more than 85 countries. Organizers are expecting around 30,000 visitors to attend the three-day gathering, which is seen as the country's largest in terms of facilitating international tourism options.

The London-based World Travel and Tourism Council at the start of the month held its 10th annual summit in Beijing with delegates focussing on international trends in the tourism industry. And at that event they heard Chinese tourists had made 1.9 billion domestic trips last year and - more relevant to this week's BITE - around 46 million overseas trips.

The China National Tourism Association claimed the nation had now become the biggest outbound tourism source in Asia while the World Tourism Organization predicted that by 2015 the nation would become the largest source in the world for inbound tourism and the fourth-largest source of outbound tourism.

For nations such as Greece - still suffering from the aftermath of the world financial crisis - the growing Chinese tourism market is being seen as one possible way of reviving the nation's fortunes. And so Greece is returning to BITE to highlight its attractions for the fifth year.

"We are emphasizing certain segments such as luxury tourism, honeymoon tourism, yachting and sailing, diving tourism and most importantly, cultural tourism for Chinese travelers,'' Angelos Vlachos, spokesperson from Greece National Tourism Organization (GNTO), told the BITE website.

Other nations returning to BITE include Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany and Morocco, according to organizers, while the likes of The Netherlands, Libya, Mexico, Kenya and Yemen will be exhibiting for the first time.

The seventh edition of BITE is being co-organized by Conference and Exhibition Management Services Pte Ltd (CEMS), CEMS (Beijing) Conference & Exhibition Co.Ltd, Beijing Tourism Administration and Beijing Relation Conference & Exhibition Services Co., Ltd.

Beijing International Tourism Expo , June 25-27

China International Exhibition Center