The 17th International Travel Expo opened here Thursday, attracting about 600 exhibitors from nearly 100 countries and regions.
The annual travel exposition has received enthusiastic support from trade partners. More than 70 national tourism organizations from around the globe will showcase their latest travel products and information at the four-day show.
The organizer of the expo has arranged lots of cultural performances like Chinese, Japanese and African dances that bring the audience to learn about the customs and cultures of different countries and regions.
Travel forums and seminars featuring hot topics will also be held. A new program, "New Travel Routing Contest," will encourage exhibitors to explore new travel routes and attractions, thus opening more business opportunities.
Chinese travelers demand more short-haul travel and semi-group tour during the post-SARS period and there is a growing interest in health-related tours. To cope with the rising demand, there will be a special zone devoted to "health and medical tour" in theexpo.
Hong Kong's Secretary for Economic Development and Labor, Stephen Ip, said at the opening ceremony that Hong Kong is investing heavily in the tourism infrastructure to ensure the diversity to suit the tastes of visitors from different markets.
He noted that the performance of tourism industry in Hong Kong has improved substantially over the past two months. In July, the city received some 1.3 million visitors, up almost 80 percent compared with June. The number further increased to 1.64 million in August, an increase of 27 percent form July. Hotel occupancy also climbed up from 18 percent in May to over 80 percent in August, said Ip.