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World largest tourism fair opens in Berlin
2010-11-29 10:05:52
More than 11,000 exhibitors from 183 countries and regions arrived in the German capital on Wednesday to attend the world's largest tourism fair, which marks its 40th anniversary this year.

    China is represented by 144 firms and institutions at the fair with an area of more than 400 square meters.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel also visited the five-day fair.

    The fair, or International Tourism Exchange (ITB), is a forum for establishing new customer contacts and conducting business. Organizers say the event guarantees high-quality customer contacts.

    In recent years, the ITB Berlin has evolved from simply renting out display space to become a modern center for the travel industry.

    German Economics Minister Michael Glos said his country expected a turnover of 27 billion euros (about 32 billion US dollars) from tourism this year.

    "In recent weeks the signs of an economic recovery have become more evident and the mood among consumers continues to improve. This gives a boost to the ITB Berlin 2006 and will no doubt be reflected by positive commercial results," said Dr. Christian Goeke, an official of Messe Berlin.

    The entire Messe Berlin exhibition site is occupied, forcing more exhibitors to increase the height of their displays, and there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of two-storey stands at the fair.

    Among the countries requiring more space this year is India, which is occupying an entire hall for the first time, covering an area of 2,000 square meters.

    The Arab states are using 35 percent more display space, while the increase in the case of South America is around 40 percent.

Timor Leste, formerly known as East Timor, and Afghanistan were present at the fair for the first time, and following a long absence Macedonia, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) returned as exhibitors.

(Xinhua News Agency Mar 09, 2006)