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SHANGHAI, November 15 (Itar-Tass) — Asia's largest international travel show, the China International Travel Mart (CITM-2012), opened here on Thursday, with representatives of several hundreds of companies and organizations from tens of countries participating.
Russia is represented at the show by a joint national display stand which has been organized by Rosturism (Federal Tourism Agency) with support from the World Without Borders non-commercial partnership.
Russian exhibitors are as follows: travel organizations, leading transportation companies, hotels, and museum complexes from more than 20 regions, among them the Altai Republic, Sverdlovsk, Yaroslavl and other regions.
Organizers point out that the show gives a fine chance for the regions to present their own travel products, demonstrate their travel potential, and take the fancy of foreign tourists. The Russian stand proved the most popular at a sectoral fair that opened here.
Rosturizm chief Alexander Radkov told journalists on Thursday, "It has now become perceptible that Chinese tourists began to travel to Russia and that their interest in Russia manifested itself with fresh vigor of late".
"We really have something to offer on the Chinese travel market, including educational tourism, for Chinese folks take an lively interest in our culture, traditions, and customs," he added. Besides, he said travelers from the People's Republic of China (PRC) are also attracted by Russia's health tourism and eco-tourism.
According to Radkov, the stream of guests from the PRC grew by over 40 percent in the first nine months of 2012. "As of now, Chinese tourists travel mainly to Moscow, St Petersburg, as well as to the Golden Ring cities, and to the Kamchatka Peninsula. Our task is to widen the range of travel," Radkov pointed out.
The show also features one of developing national brands — the Health Resorts of the Northern Caucasus". "Our Northern Caucasus affords great resources for tourism, and such promising projects, which are certain to bring some dividends, are of interest to any businessman," Rosturizm chief added, assuring that "demand for that region will mount resultant of an inland tourist stream". At present, Radkov emphasized, investors from the PRC are only sizing up Russian projects. Therefore the Russian Federation's participation in CITM is a fine opportunity to introduce new, promising aspects of the tour industry, as well as establish business contacts not only with Chinese partners but also with colleagues from other countries.
Russian delegation members say the travel show in Shanghai is an important event, which together with the summit of the Russia-China Travel Forum (November 16) will bring to a close the Year of Russian Tourism (YRT) in the PRC.
As indicated by the results of the YRT, which included more than 100 travel arrangements, Chinese tourists' interest in the RF is steadily growing. Next year has been designated as a Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia. "We are now awaiting proposals from the Chinese side for a programme of arrangements. For our part, we shall give them all the necessary assistance so that next year would be no less interesting and eventful than this one," Radkov said in answer to a question from an Itar-Tass correspondent.
The CITM travel show is to come to a close on November 18.