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Global tourism officials gathered in BJ

Updated: 2013-09-17
By Lin Hanqing (chinadaily.com.cn)
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Tourism officials and experts from more than 100 cities and a variety of organizations and businesses met in Beijing Sept 11. Their hope was to do their part to revive the world’s economy – by the development of tourism.

For four days, international industry leaders worked together as part of the Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit of World Tourism Cities 2013. Their goal was to “Improve city life through tourism.”

Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang spoke at the opening ceremony on Sept 12, as did Shao Qiwei, head of the China National Tourism Administration. "Tourism has an important momentum for a city's economic and social development,” Shao said. ”And development will be an ongoing theme for the future of tourism cities." Wang Anshun, chairman of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and mayor of Beijing, gave welcome speeches. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also sent a letter of congratulation.

There were only 58 members when the WTCF was founded, and 47 of those are city members. After one year of development, the number of members reached 107, and Yangzhou from Jiangsu province was the only Chinese city to gain membership.

Participants signed a printed framework of tourism guidelines at the ceremony, titled Beijing Consensus.

Another highlight of the opening event was the inauguration ceremony of the Committee of Tourism-Related Business, Committee of Aviation Operators and Committee of Media Organizations.

Representatives from nearly a dozen media outlets met on Sept 13 as part of a committee organized by China Daily. Social media’s influence on global tourism was a topic that topped the agenda.

Also as part of the festivities, the World Tourism Cities Expo 2013 drew crowds to Wangfujing, one of Beijing’s most well-known shopping zones. The three-day event kicked off September 10.

Nearly 50 domestic and foreign exhibitors, including foreign embassies and tourism departments, showed off their culture and charm. Visitors could use souvenir passports, which were stamped at each destination’s booth. There were also exhibits featuring 3-D street art and performances.

As a non-profit and non-government international organization of tourist destinations, the WTCF was established in Beijing on April 19, 2012.

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