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Shanghai a thriving conference center

The occupancy rate of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Shanghai has stayed at 100 percent since the beginning of this year….

The occupancy rate of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Shanghai has stayed at 100 percent since the beginning of this year. Its lobby is always packed with visitors from afar, even in the off-season.



The occupancy rate at the other 248 major hotels in Shanghai also stayed above 80 percent in the first quarter of this year, the best record for the city’s hotel industry in the past decade, municipal records show.



Shanghai is turning into China’s leading exhibition center since hosting a number of international events such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting. The exhibition sector has boosted the development of its hotel, transport, commercial and catering trades.



The number of international exhibitions and conferences held in Shanghai is increasing at an annual rate of 20 percent, with one staged each day on average. The city also hosts two million visitors from outside China and 80 million domestic visitors annually. These figures is growing at the rate of double digits.



Dao Shuming, deputy head of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Committee, predicts that by 2010, the city will receive at least 140 million Chinese and overseas visitors per year.



That figure was a rather conservative estimate if Shanghai won its bid to hold the 2010 World Expo, he added.



Shanghai is a fast-growing city with a particularly human touch. As a rival city to Shanghai for the expo, Ryosu in the Republic of Korea is also a beautiful city. But Shanghai outdid Ryosu in terms of urban engineering construction and economic development, said Hong Wan Shik, an official of Pusan City, in Shanghai for the signing of a bilateral exchange agreement.



V.I.Strzalkovsky, a Russian official who heads an economic and trade delegation to the China International Tourism Fair, said, Of the (expo) candidate cities, Shanghai is undoubtedly superior to the others in infrastructure and human resources.



Fang Runjang, general manager of the Hangzhou Merchant International Travel Services, said if Shanghai hosted the expo it would provide a huge opportunity for neighboring cities, as participants would like to visit other cities near Shanghai when they came to China.

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