• World Tourism Alliance established in Chengdu, 89 founding members including China

    Ramesh Tiwari
    September 13, 2017
    World Tourism Alliance established in Chengdu, 89 founding members including China

    TravelBizNews Correspondent —

    Chengdu: The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) initiated by China is officially established amid a grand ceremony held at Chengdu Century City New International Convention and Exhibition Center.

    The ceremony was witnessed by more than 1,000 guests from 137 countries and regions who were attending the 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held in Chengdu.

    The WTA is the first global, comprehensive, non-governmental, non-profit international tourism organization. The World Tourism Alliance, a global network linking non-governmental players in the industry, was set up in China on Sept. 12 by 89 founding members, mainly national tourism associations, tourist enterprises and think tanks from around the world.

    The founding members include United States, France, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Japan , Brazil, international tourism associations, influential tourism companies and think tanks, heads of international organizations, retired tourism officials, executives of tourism companies and noted scholars.

    According to UNWTO, the number of global travelers will exceed 1.8 billion by 2030. China is considered the world’s fastest growing tourism market and will play a key role in the sector’s development.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory lmessage to the 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

    Li Jinzao, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Director of the Preparatory Committee for the WTA, , UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and WTA Chairman Duan Qiang highlighted on various issues of global tourism.

    On the occasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping , in a congratulatory message to the UNWTO Assembly ,  wished all the countries to work together for greater development of global tourism.

    He called tourism a significant channel of communication between different countries and cultures, an effective tool of creating economic growth and jobs, and an important industry to improve people’s lives.

    ‘China highly values tourism, which has contributed over 10 percent of its national economy and employment .Chinese tourists will make 700 million outbound trips in the coming five years.’

    “The country also warmly welcomes inbound tourists, with its long history, rich culture, beautiful scenery and diverse folk customs,” Xi said.

    Similarly, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed on the importance of cooperation in global tourism development, saying that China would play a constructive role in driving sustainable growth in the area.

    In a congratulatory message to launching ceremony  of the World Tourism Alliance, Li highlighted the significance of tourism for its contribution in boosting consumption and employment, supporting economic growth and facilitating exchanges between countries.

    “I believe the World Tourism Alliance would help create a new platform and new opportunities for the sector’s sustainable development,” Li said .

    Director of the Organizing Committee for the Establishment of the WTA and CNTA Chairman Li Jinzao focused on lofty goals of newly established worrld organization at the general assembly  presided  by Deputy Director of the Organizing Committee and CNTA Vice Chairman Du Jiang.

    Li said, “Chinese government highly values tourism development. Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed on various occasions that tourism is a comprehensive industry, an important impetus for economic growth, a bridge for cultural dissemination and exchange and people-to-people bond, and a key indicator of people’s livelihood.”.

    “ In recent years, Chinese tourism industry has scored remarkable achievements in the Toilet Revolution, holistic tourism, tourism for poverty alleviation, tourist police, tourist courts, tourism for diplomacy and tourist etiquette, etc. It is growing into a strategic pillar industry for the national economy and a modern service industry with increasing popularity among the general public.”

    “The Alliance is aimed to promote development, poverty reduction and peace through tourism by extending consensus, sharing experience and deepening cooperation in driving the sustainable, inclusive development of the global tourism industry. The Alliance and the UNWTO are complementary to each other. They serve as two wheels driving global tourism exchange and cooperation at the governmental and non-governmental levels,” CNTA Chairman Li added.

    At the general assembly, Deputy Director of the Organizing Committee Duan Qiang presented a report on the preparatory work, and  member of the Organizing Committee Liu Shijun submitted the Constitution of the World Tourism Alliance (draft), the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Alliance (draft), and the Name List of Nominees for the 1st Board of Directors of the World Tourism Alliance to the general assembly for review. 

    The World Tourism Alliance aims  providing professional services for its members, building a platform for dialogue, communication and cooperation among its members, and promoting business cooperation and experience sharing among them; communicating and coordinating with relevant international organizations with an open mind and facilitating international tourism cooperation;  establishing high-level tourism research and consultancy institutions to study the trend of global tourism development; collecting, analyzing and releasing global and regional tourism data; providing consultation services and business training for governments and companies; establishing a reciprocal mechanism among its members and promoting them to share resources and market their tourism market; hosting annual meetings, summits and expos as platforms for exchange and cooperation between the public and the private sectors and advancing the integration of the global tourism industry and related industries.

    Also present at the ceremony included HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Mikheil Janelidze, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Georgia, Joe Natuman, Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Yin Li, Governor of Sichuan Province, Du Jiang, Vice Chairman of CNTA, and Luo Qiang, Mayor of Chengdu according to CNTA.

    The UNWTO General Assembly will discuss various issues of world tourism in the meeting, scheduled for Sept. 11-16 in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

    Inputs from CNTA

    Sept. 13, 2017

    • Connecting you with the world of travel and tourism

      What they say

      Tourism is a people’s sector. One in 10 people in the world are directly or indirectly employed by tourism. Ours is the responsibility to ensure that tourism benefits each and every community, leaving no one behind.
      Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development. Yet, it also brings in many challenges. Adapting our sector to the challenges of safety and security, to constant market changes, to digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.
      As we move towards a future guided by the universal 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I take upon me to lead UNWTO with a strong focus on building partnerships with public and private sector, fostering jobs and opportunities for all, mastering technology and innovation and advancing sustainability and the fight against climate change.
      I trust that, together with our Member States and our partners from around the world, we can build a more competitive and responsible tourism sector for the benefit of all. I wish you a very happy 2018.
      Zurab Pololikashvili
      UNWTO Secretary-General

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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