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Hangzhou to Host World's First Leisure Expo
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Hangzhou, capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province and one of China's favorite tourist destinations, is set to be busier than ever between April and October this year. It's being suggested that as many as 16 million people from home and abroad could attend a 'leisure fair' being held in the city.

Announcing the details in the Beijing International Hotel yesterday, Dr. Derek Casey, chair of the World Leisure Organization (WLO), a non-governmental organization established in 1952, said "This World Leisure Expo is designed to celebrate the diversity of leisure and its capacity to change the lives of people and communities worldwide. It will present the latest and best examples of innovative design, public policies for leisure, effective management, programming of facilities and equipment manufacture."

The 2006 Hangzhou World Leisure Expo is the first and largest of its kind ever to be held in the world. For almost 800 years, Hangzhou has been famous as a worldly paradise for its natural beauty, amenities of living as well as its affluence. It boasts quite number of crowned titles: the paradise on earth, the capital of tea and silk, the land of milk and honey.

In his speech, Dr. Casey praised Hangzhou's leisure facilities and its ability to hold such an event. A total of 3.5 billion yuan (US$434 million) has been invested in the major venue for the event -- the 'World Leisure Expo Garden' -- which is a combination of leisure and conference facilities, exhibition sites and residential areas.

The six-month leisure carnival is packed with numerous cultural and related events: the 4th West Lake Chorus Festival; Exhibition of Cultural Relics and Works of Fine Art at the Zhejiang Museum; the 2006 Hangzhou Silk Fashion Show and the 2nd China Invitational Tournament of Paper Cutting Art, to name just a few of the interesting things to see and do.

As part of the 2006 Hangzhou World Leisure Expo, the 9th World Leisure Congress will be held in the city between October 15-20.

( by Wind Gu February 23, 2006)

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