HK to Host World Travel Congress of ASTA in 2004   

Hong Kong won its bid to host the annual World Travel Congress of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) in 2004, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) announced Monday.

Speaking at the contract signing ceremony, HKTB's Executive Director Clara Chong said, "ASTA's decision to choose Hong Kong is very important and timely for us, as it shows that the U.S. travel trade had long-term confidence in Hong Kong as a destination."

Chong said that China's accession to the WTO and Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Olympics would bring an added boost to U.S.-Hong Kong tourism. Hong Kong has already commands the largest share of U.S. outbound travel of destinations in Asia now, according to Chong.

ASTA is the world's largest and most prestigious association of travel professionals, boasting more than 26,000 members. Hong Kong last hosted the event in 1965.

( Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2001)

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