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China Int'l Travel Mart opens in Kunming

Asia's largest travel fair -- China International Travel Mart (CITM), opened Thursday in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

At the opening of the four-day event, Shao Qiwei, head of the China National Tourist Administration (CNTA), said tourism has become one of China's pillar industries, and the government will deepen reforms to expand win-win international cooperation in the sector.

Shao said China was the world's largest outbound tourism consumer last year with Chinese tourists spending 102 billion U.S. dollars on overseas trips.

CNTA forecast that the number of outbound Chinese tourists will exceed 90 million this year.

Sponsored by CNTA, the travel fair has drawn exhibitors from 102 countries and regions and more than 1,000 foreign buyers mainly from the Republic of Korea, Russia, the United States and European countries.

The annual event held in Kunming and Shanghai alternately offered 1,941 booths for domestic exhibitors and 418 for foreign exhibitors this year.