World City Ice and Snow Tourism Cooperation Organization Preparatory Conference is Held in Harbin, WTCF Attends the Ceremony

Publish Time:2017-01-05 18:46:06Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:On January 5th, as part of the 33rd China-Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, the 2017 World City Ice and Snow Tourism Cooperation Organization Preparatory Conference was held in Harbin.

On January 5th, as part of the 33rd China-Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, the 2017 World City Ice and Snow Tourism Cooperation Organization Preparatory Conference was held in Harbin. Hundreds of representatives from 17 Chinese and international cities including Cagayan City(Philippines), Ekurhuleni (South Africa), Khabarovsk (Russia), Magdeburg (Germany), Rovaniemi (Finland), Urumqi, Zhangjiakou, Shenyang, Changchun, Jilin City, Xilingol League, Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Jiamusi, Daqing, Heihe, Mohe; 13 international organizations including World Tourism Cities Federation, International Association of Snow and Ice Sculpture, Organization to Support the Austrian and Chinese Economic Cooperation, The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Korea, Chinese Entrepreneurs Association in South Africa, Northeast Chinese Chamber of Commerce in South Africa, Portuguese Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Canada China Business Council in Alberta Province, Eton House International Education Group, attended the event.

After 50 years of innovation and development, Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is now an international influential event. With the help of the festival, ice and snow tourism industry in Heilongjiang Province developed rapidly. The festival has been held for 33 years and is considered as one of the world’s four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Holmenkollen Ski Festival.

During 2016’s NPC and CPPCC, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, when participating in the deliberation of the delegation of Heilongjiang Province, pointed out “green water and mountains are gold and silver mines and Heilongjiang's ice and snow also is gold and silver mines.” In order to implement President Xi’s instruction, as well as the “Opinions of the State Council on Promoting the Reform and Development of the Tourism Industry,” and the Belt and Road Initiative, Harbin organized the International Ice and Snow Tourism Organization Preparatory Conference. The conference will promote communication and cooperation between other ice and snow tourist cities and promote a rapid development of the ice tourism industry.

Under the initiative of Harbin, the International Ice and Snow Tourism Organization is supported by 34 Chinese and international cities and organization including Edmonton (Canada), Ekurhuleni (South Africa), Magdeburg (Germany), Aarhus (Denmark). The organization will become the first ice and snow themed tourism organization and is committed to facilitating communication and cooperation between ice and snow cities, as well as Harbin’s international competitiveness and influence.

The opening ceremony of the conference was hosted by Qu Lei, Vice-Mayor of Harbin. Song Xibin, Mayor of Harbin, Heikki Autto, Chairman of the City Council of Rovaniemi of Finland, and the Director of the International Division of China National Tourism Administration, delivered speeches at the ceremony.

Song Xibin said, “Nicknamed ‘Ice City,’ Harbin is the origin of ice and snow tourism industry in China and has become the culture symbol of Harbin. The ice and snow tourism not only is one of the leading products of Heilongjiang Province and Harbin city, but the trump card product as well in China, playing an important role in the process of promoting the winter industry. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, which opened yesterday, is as famous as the Sapporo Snow Festival, Quebec Winter Carnival, and Oslo Holmenkollen Ski Festival, considered to be one of the four big winter events and among the top 10 most influential festivals in China. Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival guides China’s winter tourism become more famous internationally.”

For many years, we have been communicating and cooperating with foreign cities frequently, we have joined hands with different countries and regions to promote the healthy development of ice and snow tourism. Today we will establish the World City Ice and Snow Tourism Cooperation Organization, to build a platform for cities to learn from each other therefore promote the development of ice and snow tourism in the world cities. Sharing, melting and improving, to draw a picture of the bright future of world ice and snow tourism.

Heikki Autto said, “ As the world famous ice and snow tourism city, Harbin started and put forward the idea of establishing the World City Ice and Snow Tourism Cooperation Organization, with 5 years efforts of promotion, today comes the conference of establishment which is a big event in the history of world ice and snow tourism. We believe that the organization as a significant meaning of promoting world ice and snow tourism as well as the communication and cooperation of ice and snow resource, building a cooperative platform for the members. I believed that, the organization will drive rapid growth in the world ice and snow tourism market and bring benefits to the people around the word. World City Ice and Snow Tourism Cooperation Organization will be a great success.”

The conference participants discussed the function, organization, fee charging mechanism, draft regulations and furthering the development of the organization.

The closing ceremony of the conference was hosted by Yan Honglei, Director of Harbin Tourism Committee. During the event, Qu Lei delivered a speech and the outcome of the discussions was externalized and a MOU was signed.

Yan Han, Deputy Secretary-General of World Tourism Cities Federation, along with other staffs of WTCF, were invited to attend the event.

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