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Kunming to host Asia's largest travel fair this week

By in News on

Members of the travel and hospitality industry from Finland to Fiji and virtually everywhere else in the world are preparing to descend upon Kunming this week as the city prepares to host the China International Travel Mart (CITM), the largest travel and tourism trade show in Asia. CITM is an annual exhibition held in Shanghai and Kunming on alternating years. The four-day event will be held from November 1 to November 4 at the Kunming International Convention & Exhibition Center on Chuncheng Lu.

CITM is organized by the China National Tourism Administration and features exhibits by travel destinations and tourism/hospitality companies from around China and the world. It was last held in Kunming in November 2005 to somewhat lackluster reviews by international visitors who questioned the city's ability to host global events such as CITM.

In the words of Bernadette Dennis, Vice President, Asia Pacific and Global Sales Organization for Marriott International, who attended the event in Kunming in 2005: "Kunming does not have the infrastructure for a 'global' meeting, therefore it is a poor location for such an important trade show."

Kunming has but a small handful of 5-star hotels, a heavily strained traffic network and only a fraction of the international dining options available in Shanghai, but whether it can host international events is still open to debate.

Kunming native Zhou Lingyi is a former PR manager at a five-star hotel in Shanghai and is planning on attending CITM this week. Zhou said that despite some critical reviews of CITM 2005, Kunming is an ideal place to hold CITM.

"Kunming is a beautiful small city with flowers, blue skies and fantastic weather all year - it's the perfect city for CITM," she said. "However, it will also take some time for Kunming to mature into a truly international city."

CITM will be held at the Kunming International Convention & Exhibition Center this Thursday through Sunday. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday it will be open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. On Sunday it will be open from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Note: On Thursday and Friday CITM will only be open to registered trade buyers. The exhibition will be open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday.

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