Exhibition tourism is developing rapidly in China and is seen as a new source for the development of urban tourism and regional economies. Is that a fact? This paper examines the relationship between exhibition tourism and urban tourism and urban economies in China, by looking at the experiences of Shanghai, Wuhan and Xi'an. These three cities are respectively located in eastern, middle and western China. First, we analyze the theoretical relationship between exhibition and urban tourism. Then, based on 10-years of data on exhibition tourism and urban tourism (arrivals and income) in these three cities, we analyze the correlation of exhibition tourism and urban tourism using Linear Regression Analysis. We also analyze the importance of exhibition tourism to urban tourism economy of three cities based on its Location Quotient (LQ). Our findings indicate that the contribution of exhibition tourism to western cities in China is higher than it is in eastern ones. In other words, the development of exhibition tourism is more important for the development of urban tourism and region economy in western China.