World Tourism Cities Fed­er­a­tion: New Vigour for Tourism In­dus­try

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Zhou Fu­jing, pol­ished by Mark Zuiderveld

Mem­bers of the World Tourism Cities Fed­er­a­tions aim to dis­play the fed­er­a­tion’s ad­van­tages in or­gan­i­sa­tion and its role as a plat­form and sup­port for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Travel, that unique path of en­ter­tain­ment, ex­plo­ration and dis­cov­ery, is also an in­dus­try that fos­ters for­eign ex­change and eco­nomic devel­op­ment. To boost the ap­peal of tourism cities and pro­mote devel­op­ment of tourism cities and re­gional so­cioe­co­nomic devel­op­ment, the World Tourism Cities Fed­er­a­tion was founded in Bei­jing in 2012.

For five years, it has served as a co­op­er­a­tion plat­form for tourism cities by host­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, im­prov­ing ser­vices and do­ing aca­demic re­search, and in­jected en­ergy into the world tourism in­dus­try. It ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and put for­ward the vi­sion to con­struct the “One Belt One Road” Tourism Cor­ri­dor and City Hub at the Asia-pa­cific Tourism Con­fer­ence in Penang, Malaysia in March 2017. It has con­trib­uted to the devel­op­ment of the tourism cities along the Belt and Road.

Set­ting up an Ex­change Plat­form for Tourism Cities

The tourism in­dus­try cur­rently has achieved rapid devel­op­ment and it has be­come an im­pe­tus for pro­mot­ing eco­nomic growth and employment. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of WTTC ( World Travel and Tourism Coun­cil), the tourism in­dus­try cre­ated a rev­enue of US$7.6 tril­lion world­wide, ac­count­ing for 10.2

per­cent of the world's to­tal GDP.

To pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tions among tourist cities and in­sti­tu­tions and sus­tain­able tourism growth of the tourism in­dus­try, the World Tourism Cities Fed­er­a­tion was founded in Bei­jing on Septem­ber 15, 2012. It was ini­ti­ated by Bei­jing and has in­cor­po­rated nu­mer­ous world-renowned tourism cities, such as Ber­lin, Barcelona, and Los An­ge­les, be­com­ing the first city-based in­ter­na­tional tourism or­gan­i­sa­tion in the world.

WTCF has ad­hered to ideal of “Bet­ter City Life through Tourism” and has been com­mit­ted to in­creas­ing the ap­peal of tourism cities as in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions, en­hance the qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency of their ser­vices, boost the brand im­ages of tourism cities and pro­mote bal­anced eco­nomic and so­cial progress in tourism cities and re­gions. At present, its mem­bers have in­creased to 182 from 58 at the very be­gin­ning, in­clud­ing 121 city mem­bers and 61 in­sti­tu­tional mem­bers. They cover world renowned travel agen­cies, me­dia groups, air­ports, air­lines, ho­tel groups and fi­nan­cial en­ter­prises.

The Fra­grant Hills Tourism Sum­mit is an an­nual event launched at the early foun­da­tion of the WTCF, sub­se­quently held in WTCF'S mem­ber cities. It brings to­gether rep­re­sen­ta­tives of in­ter­na­tional tourism or­gan­i­sa­tions, top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials of tourism cities and se­nior ex­ec­u­tives of tourism­re­lated in­sti­tu­tions to share their ex­pe­ri­ence in tourism devel­op­ment, dis­cuss is­sues re­lated to tourism devel­op­ment in cities and lock in op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourism co­op­er­a­tion.

In 2012, the WTCF Bei­jing Fra­grant Hills Tourism Sum­mit, themed “Bet­ter City Life through Tourism,” the first of its kind, was held in Septem­ber. City mem­bers signed the Bei­jing Dec­la­ra­tion, dis­cussed ma­jor is­sues fac­ing the tourism in­dus­try, and pre­dicted the tourism in­dus­try's bright fu­ture. In 2013, the sum­mit, themed “Touirsm, New Driv­ing Force for Sus­tain­able Ur­ban Devel­op­ment,” was also held in Bei­jing. Bei­jing Con­sen­sus and As­sess­ment Sys­tem for World Tourism Cities, ba­sic norms for co­op­er­a­tion and ser­vices of world tourism cities, were is­sued. Mem­bers ex­changed ideas on how to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion and pro­mote devel­op­ment when fac­ing chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in new in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tions.

The sum­mit in 2014, themed “Mar­ket and Co­op­er­a­tion”, was held in Bei­jing. With the trans­for­ma­tion of Chi­nese in­bound tourism mar­ket­ing meth­ods, prod­ucts in­no­va­tion, and pro­mot­ing the in­te­gra­tion and ef­fi­cient util­ity of tourism re­sources by mak­ing use of the new me­dia were top­ics at the sum­mit.

The 2015 WTCF Fra­grant Hills Tourism Sum­mit, themed “World Tourism Cities: Di­ver­sity and Sus­tain­abil­ity,” was held in Morocco's Ra­bat and Fez and it re­ceived at­ten­tion from Morocco Gov­ern­ment and royal fam­i­lies. Mar­cio Fav­illa, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for Com­pet­i­tive­ness, Ex­ter­nal Re­la­tions and Part­ner­ships at the World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion, on be­half of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, signed an MOU with WTCF at the open­ing cer­e­mony to es­tab­lish part­ner­ship re­la­tion. Re­search doc­u­ments Per­for­mance Re­port on World Tourism Cities and the An­nual Re­port on the Devel­op­ment of World Tourism Cities (2014) were re­leased.

The 2016 sum­mit, themed “Shared Econ­omy and Devel­op­ment of World Tourism Cities,” was held in Chongqing, China. It is­sued Chongqing Dec­la­ra­tion and the con­cept of shared econ­omy was in­tro­duced into the devel­op­ment of world tourism cities. It es­tab­lished sec­tions for pro­mo­tional fairs, ne­go­ti­a­tion, and tour ex­hi­bi­tions of world tourism cities. Te­ge­nework Gettu, Un­der-Sec­re­tary-gen­eral of UN, at­tended the sum­mit. He said, “Tourism and shared econ­omy are top­ics of great sig­nif­i­cance. The sum­mit will ben­e­fit Chongqing, China and peo­ple in the world. Nigel David, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of WTTC, com­mented, “It is a pro­fes­sional and im­pres­sive sum­mit. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from tourism cities and in­sid­ers from around the world got to­gether to com­mu­ni­cate and seek out co­op­er­a­tion. It is of great sig­nif­i­cance for the world tourism in­dus­try.”

Dur­ing the past five years, ev­ery Fra­grant Hills Tourism Sum­mit has pro­moted the ex­pan­sion and con­nec­tion of global tourism re­sources with in­dus­tries, mar­kets, and chan­nels, and has also done a lot of pioneering prepa­ra­tion for in­ter­na­tional busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion and de­vel­op­ing its ser­vice trade. It is not only a plat­form for its mem­bers, but a grand tourism event with great in­flu­ence.

Co­op­er­a­tion in In­dus­try Chain Ser­vice

The WTCF aims to serve its mem­bers, the mar­ket and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of tourism cities and strives to con­struct a mul­ti­di­men­sional and co­op­er­a­tion plat­form for tourism cities, in­dus­try and the mar­ket.

In ad­di­tion to the Fra­grant Hills Tourism Sum­mit, the fed­er­a­tion of­fers other ser­vices for its mem­bers. It launched con­ven­tion and ex­hi­bi­tion ser­vices. Ac­cord­ing to sched­ules of the in­dus­try's renowned ex­hi­bi­tions, WTCF in­vites its mem­bers to send their own tourism re­sources and prod­uct in­for­ma­tion to the fed­er­a­tion. The fed­er­a­tion will then com­pile book­lets for mem­bers to bet­ter pro­mote them­selves at ex­hi­bi­tions. In ad­di­tion,

the fed­er­a­tion reg­u­larly holds themed dis­cus­sions and in­vites rep­re­sen­ta­tives from me­dia institutes and mem­ber cities to take part, where they will dis­cuss and ex­change ideas on in­dus­try fo­cus, pop­u­lar top­ics and prod­ucts de­sign.

WTCF seeks to make use of its Com­mit­tee of Ex­perts, data­base and data re­sources of its part­ners to build an aca­demic plat­form, of­fer­ing guid­ance for the mar­ket and tourism in­dus­try. The fed­er­a­tion has car­ried out mar­ket in­ves­ti­ga­tions and re­search based on mar­ket trend anal­y­sis, Chi­nese tourism con­sump­tion, and tourism des­ti­na­tions, and re­leased au­thor­i­ta­tive re­search re­sults.

The fed­er­a­tion reg­u­larly pub­lishes aca­demic ar­ti­cles, mar­ket re­ports, the­o­ret­i­cal dis­cus­sions, and train­ing ma­te­ri­als. In re­cent years, WTCF has re­leased the Re­port on Devel­op­ment of World Tourism Cities, Mar­ket Re­search Re­port on Chi­nese Out­bound Tourist (City) Con­sump­tion, and Re­port on the Trend of World Tourism Econ­omy, giv­ing sug­ges­tions on the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of tourism cities and ex­pand com­mu­ni­ca­tions and con­sen­sus among mem­bers. Tourism cities' po­ten­tial will be ob­served by in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions and will re­ceive more fi­nan­cial sup­port.

WTCF also launched train­ing based on devel­op­ment trends of the global tourism mar­ket and com­mon de­mands of mem­ber cities. Help­ful for Chi­nese mem­ber cities to bet­ter un­der­stand the global mar­ket, they can do well in overseas mar­ket­ing. It also helps the fed­er­a­tion's for­eign mem­ber cities to bet­ter un­der­stand the Chi­nese mar­ket and de­mands of Chi­nese tourists, to pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion with Chi­nese travel en­ter­prises and me­dia institutes.

In 2016, the Com­mit­tee of In­vest­ment was founded dur­ing the Chongqing Fra­grant Hills Tourism Sum­mit, serv­ing as a con­nec­tion plat­form be­tween WTCF mem­bers and tourism en­ter­prise, and sub­stan­tial econ­omy and cap­i­tal mar­ket, in ad­di­tion to the Com­mit­tee of Tourism-re­lated Busi­nesses, Com­mit­tee of the Civil Avi­a­tion and Com­mit­tee of Cruise In­dus­try.

WTCF pro­motes mul­ti­level co­op­er­a­tion among cities and institutes by of­fer­ing var­i­ous ser­vices, such as as­sist­ing mem­bers to join ex­hi­bi­tions and con­ven­tions, me­dia pro­mo­tions, themed dis­cus­sions, mar­ket in­quiries, train­ing, and tourism projects in­vest­ment and fi­nanc­ing. It en­ables mem­bers to ac­cess all-in­dus­try chain ser­vice.

Pro­mot­ing the Belt and Road Tourism Devel­op­ment

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive was pro­posed in 2013 and the Vi­sion and Ac­tions on Jointly Build­ing Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and 21stCen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road, jointly is­sued by sev­eral de­part­ments, was re­leased in March 2015. The con­cept of “strength­en­ing tourism co­op­er­a­tion and ex­pand­ing tourism scale” has be­come a fo­cus point for co­op­er­a­tion.

From the per­spec­tive of the tourism in­dus­try, the Belt and Road con­nects Asia and Europe, the two largest tourism des­ti­na­tions and tourism source mar­kets, whose tourism vol­ume ac­counted for 70 per­cent in the world. They are two of re­gions with great­est po­ten­tial for world tourism. Of WTCF'S 182 mem­bers, 55 mem­ber cities from 18 coun­tries are along the Belt and Road. In re­cent years, as a plat­form to pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion among world tourism

cities, the fed­er­a­tion has been com­mit­ted to ex­ten­sive co­op­er­a­tion among mem­ber cities along the route and among tourism in­dus­tries, so­cial me­dia and mar­ket, so as to pro­mote stan­dard­ised and con­ve­nient con­struc­tion of tourism cities and pro­mote the con­struc­tion of Belt and Road Tourism Cor­ri­dor and Hub City.

The WTCF Ra­bat & Fez Fra­grant

Hills Tourism Sum­mit 2015 was held in Septem­ber, which in­cluded a fo­rum: One Belt and One Road Tourism In­vest­ment Driv­ing Tourism City Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment. As many mem­ber cities are along the Belt and Road, the fo­rum called on the WTCF to or­gan­ise and co­or­di­nate cities to carry out Belt and Road tourism to in­crease mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and trust among peo­ple, re­ceiv­ing 400 guests. In Jan­uary 2016, WTCF and its mem­ber city Al­tai jointly hosted the In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum on One Belt, One Road & Tourism Co­op­er­a­tion.” The fed­er­a­tion takes Al­tai as its cen­tre, dis­play­ing its ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tages as ad­ja­cent to Kaza­khstan, Rus­sia, and Mon­go­lia, and strengthen mem­ber cities' cross-bor­der ex­change and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ice and snow, and high­end cus­tom tourism.

From March 25 to 29, 2017, the WTCF Asia-pa­cific Tourism Con­fer­ence, themed: One Belt One Road: Devel­op­ment of Tourism Cor­ri­dor and City Hub, was held at Se­tia SPICE Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Malaysia. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from UN World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion, city and in­sti­tu­tional mem­bers of WTCF, and ex­perts from WTCF'S Com­mit­tee of Ex­perts and of­fi­cials from the Penang Gov­ern­ment at­tended the con­fer­ence.

The One Belt One Road Tourism Cor­ri­dor is an in­ter­na­tional tourism pas­sage based on tourism in­fra­struc­ture, con­nected by tourism and cul­tural re­sources and proven by its out­stand­ing ser­vices. Its vi­sion is to in­te­grate the Silk Road Spirit of “peace and co­op­er­a­tion, open­ness and in­clu­sive­ness, mu­tual learn­ing and mu­tual ben­e­fit” with cur­rent trends in the world, to re­alise in­fra­struc­ture in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity and cre­ate mu­tual ben­e­fits for tourism cities and jointly cre­ate a travel-friendly so­ci­ety. The cor­ri­dor will be con­structed into a mul­ti­ple and con­ve­nient travel pas­sage, with city hubs as not only mere tourism des­ti­na­tions, but as source mar­kets. They serve as a tourism dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre. The con­struc­tion of the tourism cor­ri­dor and city hub is ben­e­fi­cial to re­mov­ing trade bar­ri­ers in tourism cities and has great in­flu­ence on sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of world tourism.

At the Asia- Pa­cific Tourism Fo­rum, ETCF put for­ward five ini­tia­tives for cities and coun­tries along the Belt and Road: pro­mote open­ing up and co­op­er­a­tion, and re­alise mu­tual ben­e­fits; re­spect cul­tural di­ver­sity, joint con­struc­tion joint forces mech­a­nism; dis­play­ing the role of plat­form, cre­at­ing tourism prod­ucts; pro­mot­ing city hubs, in­no­va­tion in ser­vice meth­ods; im­prov­ing emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, and en­sur­ing travel safety.

All WTCF mem­bers are will­ing to dis­play the fed­er­a­tion's ad­van­tages in or­gan­i­sa­tion and its role as a plat­form and sup­port for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive con­struc­tion in eight as­pects: de­vel­op­ing tourism prod­ucts, build­ing in­fra­struc­ture, draft­ing tourism stan­dards, in­vest­ment and fi­nanc­ing, devel­op­ment and in­quiry ser­vices, tourism pro­mo­tion, per­son­nel train­ing, and data shar­ing. It will set an ex­am­ple in the tourism cor­ri­dor and city hub con­struc­tion and of­fer a con­sis­tent model for world tourism co­op­er­a­tion.

De­par­ture cer­e­mony of “Thou­sands of Tourists to Morocco” or­gan­ised by WTCF and its mem­bers

WTCF draws new mem­bers to in­crease in­flu­ence.

The con­fer­ence, themed: One Belt One Road: Devel­op­ment of Tourism Cor­ri­dor and City Hub, held in Penang

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