Tourism authorities and enterprises in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, a predominantly Muslim area, have signed business deals with counterparts from Arab countries and Malaysia at a trade fair in regional capital Yinchuan.
The four-day China-Arab States Tour Operators Conference opened on Tuesday in the run-up to the China-Arab States Expo, scheduled to open on Thursday. The conference has drawn hundreds of tourism officials and travel agents from 21 countries including Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea.
Under the agreements, government agencies and airlines will work together to launch direct flights linking Yinchuan with Amman and Kuala Lumpur.
Hunter International Travel & Tourism, LLC, a travel service in the UAE, agreed to set up a marketing center in Dubai to draw more Middle East tourists to Ningxia.
Travel agencies in China and Arab countries also agreed to offer discounts to tourists from each other's countries.
Last year, China received 340,000 tourist arrivals from the Middle East, 570,000 from Indonesia, and 1.13 million from Malaysia, according to Li Shihong, deputy head of the China National Tourism Administration.
Ningxia is the largest Muslim community in China. About 36 percent of its population are Muslim Hui.
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