Song Yu, Secretary-General of WTCF, Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the WTCF Los Angeles Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2017 (Full Text)

Publish Time:2017-09-20 15:16:00Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:The WTCF Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2017 is held in the beautiful city of Los Angeles under the theme Impact of Globalization on World Tourism City Development. The purpose of the summit is to leverage the pivotal role of tourism cities in world tourism and economy, further promote win-win cooperation among world tourism cities and bolster support for world economic development. In this connection, I want to share with you the following three observations

Song Yu, Secretary-General of WTCF, Keynote Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the WTCF Los Angeles Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2017 (Full Text)

Honorable Chairman Chen Jining, Chairman Li Jinzao, Director Zhu Shanzhong, Consul General Liu Jian,

Distinguished delegates and guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The WTCF Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2017 is held in the beautiful city of Los Angeles under the theme Impact of Globalization on World Tourism City Development. The purpose of the summit is to leverage the pivotal role of tourism cities in world tourism and economy, further promote win-win cooperation among world tourism cities and bolster support for world economic development. In this connection, I want to share with you the following three observations:

1. Globalization is reshaping the landscape of world tourism development.

Globalization is an important feature of the world economy today, and a major trend of economic and technological development. The tourism industry is not only the main beneficiary of globalization but also its major driving force.

First, globalization has accelerated the building of connected infrastructures and stimulated the boom of world tourism. Globalization contributes to the effective allocation of resources and factors across the world, making goods and services more tailored to the needs of consumers. To build a global network of supply chain, all cities are making utmost efforts to strengthen infrastructure connectivity. A better-shaped infrastructure network contributes to the connectivity of resources, data, services and consumption, and the rapid progress of tourism cooperation. According to the relevant research, global investment in transport infrastructure is expected to grow by 5% per year by 2025. The construction of cross-regional transport infrastructures, especially the expansion of budget airlines has accelerated the building of tourism air corridors, and contributed to the development of tourism for all. Infrastructure connectivity is also instrumental in the development of the tourism industry. The development trend of the past 20 years suggests a 6-7% annual growth in both the number of tourists and tourism revenue, with the figure being doubled in each decade.

Second, globalization has triggered the rapid growth of trade in services and changed the landscape of world tourism. Globalization has facilitated the expansion and regional coordination of the world tourism market and intensified the international division of labor. Economic globalization and regional integration have reshaped the trajectory of the world tourism industry and transformed the existing tourism market. Tourism is an important part of trade in services. In 1950, Europe and America accounted for 96% of the world tourism market, and by 2016, the share of the Asia-Pacific region increased to 32%, with 122 million outbound tourist visits and over 215 billion US dollars of outbound tourism consumption contributed by China. As such, a world tourism market pillared on Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific has taken shape. According to the WTCF Report on World Tourism Economy Trends, emerging economies are expected to register an 8.7% growth in total number of tourists, and a 9.3% growth in total tourism revenue by 2018, both of which will be significantly faster than that of advanced economies.

Third, globalization has facilitated the dissemination and application of science and technology, and enriched the operation model of world tourism. With the extensive application of internet technologies, profound transformation has taken place in the channels through which tourists access tourism information and in the means by which they make tourism reservations and experience tourism quality. Diversified, personalized and customized tourism models are emerging. Given the growing consumer needs for personalized tourism products, the share of family tours, especially within short- and medium-distance, will steadily increase. The compound growth rate in the sales volume of global online tourism agencies jumped from 8% in 2008 to 46% in 2016. According to the Market Research Report on Chinese Outbound Tourist (City) Consumption published by WTCF, more than 50% of outbound Chinese tourists prefer fully-independent, semi-independent, backpacking and customized tours. As for the theme of the tours, almost 80% of the Chinese tourists choose cruise tourism, followed by family, parent-child, honeymoon, shopping and self-drive trips.

A new round of technological and industrial revolution is in the making. The system of international division of labor is rapidly evolving and the global value chain is going through deep adjustment. All these have added new contents to economic globalization. The international community should speed up the improvement of the global governance structure and make globalization more open and beneficial to all.

2. Tourism is a major driving force of globalization.

Tourism is a sunrise industry in the world economy. In 2017, seizing the opportunity of growing international demands, tourism has emerged as a strategic, comprehensive and pillar industry driving global economic growth.

First, the tourism industry has maintained growth momentum and served as a major driver of world economic development. WTCF estimates that the total number of global tourist visits will reach 11.9 billion person-trips by 2017, which is 1.6 times of the global population. Total tourism revenue will equivalent to 6.75% of global GDP. Global tourism investment recorded an average annual growth of 4.2% between 2013 and 2017, reaching 840 billion US dollars in 2017, hitting a ten-year high. According to the UNWTO statistics, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2020, international tourism revenue may reach 2 trillion US dollars and 130 million direct jobs will be provided. The tourism industry has grown into an effective vehicle for boosting export income and creating non-skilled jobs.

Second, tourism cities have embarked on a fast-track of development and provided a key engine for world economic development. Cities are the primary destinations and tourist sources of world tourism, playing an irreplaceable role in world tourism economy. As the development of infrastructure connectivity picks up pace, the pivotal role of cities in global tourism development is becoming more prominent. The rapid rise of a group of mega tourism cities has provided the essential connecting points in the tourism supply chain. According to the statistics of the WTCF Report on World Tourism Economy Trends, the world now has six super city clusters, namely London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai. They have all become major centers of tourism activities. Take WTCF as an example, the tourism economy of WTCF’s 128 member cities now amounts to 1.89 trillion US dollars, accounting for 37% of the world’s total.

Third, sharing economy has registered strong growth and become a new dynamic in tourism development. Sharing economy is the new direction of globalization. There is a natural link between the tourism industry and sharing economy. With the rapid growth of sharing economy, significant changes have taken place in the industries, formats and development landscape of world tourism. At present, there are over 10,000 companies based on sharing economy around the world. In 2015, sharing economy businesses generated 30 billion US dollars of value in Europe, achieving a compound annual growth rate of 36%. Most notably, in the field of tourism, companies that are defined by sharing economy have reached all corners of the tourism industry, and become the most dynamic factor driving world tourism development. In 2016, Airbnb, also a member of WTCF, expanded its bookable rooms to 194 countries, offering a total of 1.5 million rooms.

3. WTCF promotes exchanges and cooperation among tourism cities.

World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is the world’s first tourism organization focusing on tourism cities. Following the vision of Better City Life through Tourism, WTCF is committed to promoting exchanges and cooperation among world tourism cities. By facilitating the flow of capital, technology and personnel between member cities, WTCF aims to boost the impact of tourism cities on world economic development and inject new impetus into tourism globalization.

First, promoting the open sharing of tourism resources across the world. We should stick to the win-win approach and strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation to break the institutional barriers, explore the mechanism of multi-faceted cooperation among tourism cities, build a more open tourism market, realize the unimpeded flow and effective allocation of resource factors on a global scale, and promote the inclusive and coordinated development of global value chain. We should explore the tourism resources and cultural traditions of different countries and regions, develop more high-quality tourism products and create more tourism products with distinctive features. We should strengthen complementarity with the Belt and Road Initiative, speed up the building of tourism corridor and node cities, and develop classic cultural tourism routes overland and international tourist routes along the maritime Silk Road.

Second, promoting the sustainable development of world tourism cities. To meet the diversified needs of international tourists, we should leverage the role of tourism cities as the platform and hub, strengthen the building of ecological environment, infrastructure and tourism service facilities, and expand the overall capacity of tourism cities with targeted efforts. We should set up the platform for communication and coordination between tourism businesses and tourism cities, take into full consideration the cultural traditions and lifestyles of local communities, make proper arrangements for tourist groups and their travel itineraries, and reduce the negative impact of excessive tourism on city life.

Third, making tourism services more convenient and well-regulated. We should leverage the guiding role of the evaluation system of world tourism cities, promote the building of world tourism cities data platform and make tourism services more convenient, well-regulated and standard-based. We should encourage relevant countries and tourism cities to further relax restrictions on border entry and exit, improve the mechanism of mutual certificate recognition and promote the facilitation of tourism visa. We should encourage tourism cities to deliver services in more universal languages, improve the system of tourist signs, and promote the internationalization of tourism services.

Fourth, building a safe, harmonious and orderly tourism environment. Safety is the fundamental guarantee for tourism development. We should stick to dialogue and consultation in resolving differences and disputes, strengthen public order and tourism market management in tourism cities, and foster a safe and orderly inter-regional tourism environment. We should speed up the building of emergency service system of tourism cities, improve the tourism insurance and rescue system, explore a multi-party mechanism for quick dispute settlement, and promote more inclusive and harmonious development of world tourism.

Dear members,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We will soon release the WTCF Los Angeles Declaration, in which we will put forward a six-point proposal on building a more prosperous world tourism market, improving world tourism public services, promoting balanced development of world tourism, providing more convenient and efficient tourism services, strengthening the safety protection of world tourism, and ensuring the effective protection of tourism resources. It is our hope that this intensive discussion on the Impact of Globalization on World Tourism City Development will give a new boost to multilateral exchanges and cooperation among tourism cities and make greater contribution to the sustainable development of world tourism.

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