Taipei – In yet another sign of increasing exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s tourism chief departed for China Wednesday at the head of a large delegation to attend an international travel fair.

It marks the first time that Janice Lai, director-general of the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, has led a tourism promotion delegation to attend a travel fair in China in her capacity as president of the Taipei-based Taiwan Strait Tourism and Travel Association.

Lai said prior to her departure that the delegation will introduce Taiwan’s natural scenery and other tourist attractions to prospective Chinese travel buffs and overseas travelers.

The 190-person delegation, composed of representatives of 23 government agencies and business associations, as well as 64 travel agencies and hotel groups, will operate 60 booths in a Taiwan pavilion at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) to be held in Kunmin in the southwestern province of Yunnan from Nov. 19-22.

The CITM is the largest Chinese government-organized annual travel fair and tends to attract more than 100,000 visitors each year. A total of 2,500 booths are expected to showcase tour packages to be offered by about 4,000 exhibitors.

According to Lai, the Taiwanese delegation will organize cross-strait travel sessions for tour operators to discuss business deals during the four-day fair.

In addition, a Taiwan Travel Night program will be staged to present Taiwanese performing arts in which a troupe from southern Taiwan will present Oriental dance and theatrical arts, while several indigenous performing artists will also perform.