China Daily: (Ppaper Version) Qingdao tourism meet draws impressive response

Publish Time:2018-09-11 15:29:12Source:China Daily

【Introduction】:The World Tourism Cities Federation’s annual Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit, which ended on Saturday in Qing­ dao, in Shandong province, drew a huge response this year.

By XU LIN in Qingdao xulin@chinadaily.com.cn

The World Tourism Cities Federation’s annual Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit, which ended on Saturday in Qing­ dao, in Shandong province, drew a huge response this year.

About 400 representatives from 112 cities and more than 200 members of tourism insti­ tutions and international organizations attended the event, which included forums, tourism promotions and trade and investment meetings.

“Tourism not only generates jobs and income along with business opportunities, but it also increases public reve­nues,” Tegegnework Gettu, the United Nations under­secre­ tary­general, said in his speech at the opening ceremony on Friday.

“And the increased fiscal revenues made available to national and local authorities, in turn, can be reinvested in the improvement of infra­ structure and services, further increasing the attractiveness of cities.”

According to him, if pres­ sures on local housing prices and overuse of natural and cultural assets are managed properly, there could be a vir­ tual cycle that may drive the achievement of the sustaina­ ble development goals all over the world.

Recent data from the Unit­ed Nations World Tourism Organization show that there were over 1.3 billion interna­ tional tourist arrivals in 2017 around the world, up 6.8 per­ cent over 2016, the highest increase since 2009. And Chi­ na continued to lead global outbound travel in terms of expenditure, with $257.7 bil­ lion spent last year.

WTCF’s secretary­general Song Yu attributed the rapid rise of mass tourism in the world to the improvement of transport, like civil aviation, high­speed trains and har­ bors.

As for who is traveling, Song says: “Young people prefer independent travel. And the boom of the middle classes means that more people will seek good­quality customized travel.

“Also, tourist cities are not only a source market for global travel, but also destinations for global travel, playing an irreplaceable role in world tourism development.”

WTCF’s annual summit will be hosted in Helsinki, Fin­ land, next year, and at the WTCF’s headquarter Beijing in 2020.

Established in 2012, WTCF is a nonprofit international tourism organization which aims to promote exchanges and cooperation among its 205 members, comprising cit­ ies and tourism­related insti­ tutions from around the world.

The federation unveiled its latest research at the summit, offering insights into the glob­ al tourism industry.

The Market Research Report on Chinese Outbound Tourist Consumption (2017­ 2018) aims to help overseas destinations and tourism insti­ tutions learn more about Chi­ nese outbound tourists and their habits so as to attract more visitors from China.

The report covered 8,374 respondents, 48.6 percent of whom were from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The report revealed that the favorite outbound destina­ tions were Asia, Europe and North America, and that the reasons for travel were sight­ seeing, leisure, to experience different cultures, food and shopping.

Over 42 percent of the respondents chose group trav­ el; 40 percent opted for inde­ pendent travel and 18 percent went for customized travel.

Many shared their travel experiences on social media platforms such as WeChat and microblogs, and said they would recommend the desti­ nations to others.

Nearly 90 percent of the respondents said they were willing to return to the desti­ nation within the next 12 months, mainly for the scen­ ery, food and culture.

As for shopping, women were more focused on the experience. They paid atten­ tion to price and variety, whether the shops allowed the use of China’s largest payment provider UnionPay and whether the retail staff spoke Chinese.

In the annual Report on the Development of World Tour­ ism Cities (2018), London, New York, Frankfurt and Geneva each topped the rank­ ings in different sectors.

As for the comprehensive ranking list, the top 10 cities were London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Sydney, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Rome.

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