Sports fans, photo buffs to boost tourist trade

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 November, 2010, 12:00am

The Zhuhai air show boosts local tourism, with upmarket hotel rooms booked out by 600 exhibitors from 35 countries and reporters from around the world.

But aircraft will not be the only models attracting attention this year.

A tour group of Hong Kong photographic enthusiasts is hiring three female models from the mainland to give themselves more shooting options during a two-day visit to Zhuhai next weekend.

'We are all targeting the flying display, but that is held in the morning, and we will arrive only on Saturday afternoon, as traffic conditions in Zhuhai are not good,' tour organiser Regis Cheng, a photography teacher, said.

'In order to kill extra time on Saturday, I've arranged some portrait shooting for our tour members, because most photography enthusiasts love shooting beautiful girls.'

The tour, for 20 to 30 people would cost HK$1,780, including return transport, a night's hotel accommodation and two meals, Cheng said. 'It's my first time organising such a shooting tour [and I'm doing it] because when I shot the air show in 2008, many of my students and photographic enthusiasts told me that they were also keen on shooting aircraft during the flying display,' he said.

'The air show will give us a valuable chance to get close-up shots of China's third-generation fighter jets.'

One Zhuhai travel agent said the price of luxury hotel rooms in Zhuhai had tripled for the air show.

'It's very common; all hotel room prices will be adjusted during the exhibition period,' she said.

Zhou Lewei, the air show's general manager, said it would benefit this year from the Asian Games being held in neighbouring Guangzhou.

'We believe public visitors will increase this year, as many sports fans and reporters covering the Games will come to our air show, since Guangzhou is so close to Zhuhai,' he said.