Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, addresses the opening ceremony of the nationwide Expo tourism promotion week on April 3 in Beijing (CHEN RAN)
The Shanghai 2010 World Expo will be a great boon, not only for China's biggest metropolis, but for China's overall tourism industry as well, according to top officials.
Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, made the remarks during the opening ceremony in Beijing of the nationwide Expo tourism promotion week on April 3.
Under the banner of "Visiting the World Expo, Visiting China," the promotion week--organized by the National Tourism Administration to last from April 3 to 10--will make free brochures, photo exhibitions and a variety of tourism packages related to the Expo available to residents and visitors alike in more than 100 cities nationwide.
Beijing, Shao says, is a fitting locale to maximize the profile of the international event--not least because of the success with which the 2008 Olympic Games improved the city's image.
The legacy left by the Olympic Games can be seen in some 176 million visitors the capital welcomed last year--an increase of 19 percent--in spite of the global recession.
The Expo, which will run from May 1 to October 31, is expected to receive some 70 million visitors.
"The 2010 World Expo will boost tourism--not only for its host city Shanghai, but for the whole country as well," Shao said. "We should take the Expo as an opportunity to improve services and accommodations to better meet the needs of visitors."
"It will also enhance the country's tourism image and boost tourism as a strategic pillar industry that can better serve the people," Shao added.