This autumn will see the first in what is hoped to be an annual event for the city of Xi'an, China – the China Xi'an Silk Road International Expo. The event will be held at the Qujiang International Conference Centre from the 19th to 21st of September and will include hundreds of traders as well as presentations, performances and cultural activities all with the aim of highlighting the history and potential of the Silk Road.
President Xi Jinping put forward the idea of the Silk Road Economic Belt while in Kazakhstan in 2013 and this means that for some, CXSRITE is therefore a great economic opportunity. Many are seeing it as a launching pad for improved economic links between these two nations and other vital regions on the route; however, as more businesses sign up to trade and discuss options, it becomes apparent that more countries than just those on this “belt” are expected to arrive in September and many of them have tourism on their minds.
China and other nations seem keen to re-establish the area around Xi'an as a tourism hub and use the event as the start of a bigger revival.
China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have already made efforts highlight the cultural significance of the region by ensuring the route's ancient treasures have UNESCO status but there are hopes to build upon this by boosting Xi'an and the Silk Road's statuses as tourist destinations. Tourism is certainly a prevalent theme at this this years event; its promoters are already labelling it as a “tourism extravaganza” and the 10,000 square foot conference hall floor is split into four sections: the tourist attractions and organisations of the Shaanxi Provincial Tourism Administration, the attractions and organisations of other Chinese provinces, Shaanxi's tourist agencies, airlines and hotels and international exhibitors. International exhibitors are a key market for local businesses and officials and they are looking forward to welcoming and speaking with around 500 local and international visitors from 30 different countries.
To help these international travellers arrive at the expo with greater ease, and possibly to show off the potential of the local airlines, Xianyang International Airport has created over 200 new routes, connecting to 100 foreign cities, and this includes two important capitals. The Xi'an-Moscow flight will begin operations as early as July 1st and this will be followed by a Paris route just in time for the event's launch in September, both of which should ensure better direct flights as well as improved connections between Xi'an and other European nations during the event and in the future.
China are looking far beyond the short term benefits of the first CXSRITE and see this as a real chance for tourism and economic expansion on an international scale.
These numerous and ongoing direct flights help to highlight the importance of this expo as a global event and the Chinese desire to ensure that the development and growth of the Silk Road as a tourist destination is not limited to a few days of trade and celebration. Tourism is the best way to revive this region right now because of the status of the sites and the revenue that can be brought in and this means there is a lot of hope that not only will a range of international representatives from beyond the Silk Road take part, they will help to turn this massive exhibition into a yearly international event.
To register for the CXSRITE and explore unique Silk Road opportunity please visit the trade show website.