China: East Timor and Cape Verde want to be tourist destination and attract Chinese investment

23 June 2008

Beijing, China, 23 June – East Timor and Cape Verde are taking part in the International Tourism Fair in Beijing to promote themselves as tourist destinations, attracting Chinese tourists and investors, the representatives of the Portuguese-speaking nations said in Beijing Saturday.

Over 700 exhibitors from 81 countries, travel agencies and Chinese and foreign tourism offices have reserved a space at the Beijing International Tourism Exhibition (BITE) to promote their products and attract Chinese tourists, focusing on an expanding market.

East Timor, Cape Verde and Brazil are the only Portuguese-speaking countries taking part in the exhibition.

“We had to take part, because a presence at this fair projects the name and image of the country, allows us to establish contacts in the tourism sector and for cooperation in other economic areas,” East Timor’s ambassador to China, Olímpio Miranda Branco, told Portuguese news agency Lusa.

José Correia, secretary of the Cape Verdean embassy in Beijing, said that “China is one of the countries with most tourism potential,” and the aim was to “attract Chinese tourists to Cape Verde and find Chinese companies in the sector interested in including Cape Verde in their packages.”

A study by the World Tourism Organization has projected China will become the fourth-largest market of origin of tourists by 2015.

According to the New China news agency, China’s tourism revenues in 2007 totalled US$155.7 billion, which was a year on year rise of 22.6 percent. (macauhub)