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Telecom World fair bids au revoir to pricey Geneva

And says a hearty nei ho to Hong Kong

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The world's biggest telecom fair - Telecom World - is waving goodbye to Geneva. The next scheduled bash, in 2006, will take place in Hong Kong, The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced this week.

ITU cites several reasons for the decision, including the growing importance of Asian markets for the telecom industry. However, the principal cause of the relocation seems to be that Geneva is getting too expensive.

The city could never really cope with the growing amount of visitors, in particular during the booming 90s. Hotels asked outrageous prices for rooms during the event, and many exhibitors choose to stay in towns as far as away as Montreux. The last Telecom World held in 2003 attracted some 100,000 visitors.

Geneva has always played host to the event since it began in 1971. Geneva cantonal officials now fear that town could stand to lose some SFr100m (€64m), Swiss Info reports.

Other cities which had bid to host the tenth World Telecom fair included Milan, Istanbul and Algiers. ®

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