The 2014 World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit takes place from Sept 4-5 around the theme of world tourism cities: market and cooperation. The two-day event brings mayors of member cities, industry representatives, and scholars from home and abroad together to exchange opinions on the development of the tourism industry. It will feature a series of activities, including the tourism cities expo and travel presentation, to help participants seek business opportunities and establish partnerships.
WTCF forum, Driving the Development of Tourism, comes to an end.
Mr. Wu Bihu, member of WTCF Expert Committee, voiced that, Westerners and other international tourists will find China’s scenic sights more attractive if the destinations are more local, more rural, and show off more Chinese characteristics.
On the other hand, in order to attract domestic tourists, the tourist spots should focus more on western styles.
Mr. Wang Chunfeng, vice president of Utourworld.com Inc, shared his opinion, "The general topic focuses on “city cooperation and the innovation marketing model.” In consideration of time, I will only address the relations between enterprises, cities and the market here.
"In my opinion, the market is an integrated, complex and open system, whereas enterprises and cities could be regarded as sub-entities within the system. If the three coordinate with each other, there will be a synergistic effect.
"If conflict or friction occurs between them, the system will not operate very well. As such, cooperation among different players is a crucial aspect of the marketing model."
Ms. Wu Shaoyan said that, "How can we provide better tourism products and services by simply using a city’s resources more effectively? I’d like to share AK’s 50 years of experience with our guests. We offer products to our clients, and at the same time we also provide more value-added services to them."
Mr. Wu Bihu , member of WTCF Expert Committee, voices his opinions.
Mr.Dan Clayton Jones, Chair of the Wales Tourism Board, voiced that, "Wales has a history of over 200 years. We have more castles than any other places. We have more than 700 castles which are very famous. We also have art. We have a lot of reasons to attract tourists, for example, our culture as well as some major events.
"Besides tourism, we also want to improve other industries including banking, arts and music. So we have sponsored many activities. We also innovate the way we develop our tourism, including cooperation between the public and private sectors.
"For example, we cooperate with Apple, so you can get information about tourism in Wales on your iPhone. Wales is a new hot spot for tourism. It takes about two hours to travel from London to Wales. We are willing to promote London, so hopefully it will bring some tourists to Wales."
Mr.Hansen Peter Romer, deputy director of Copenhagen Tourism Bureau shared his views that, "As an initial member of WTCF, I feel very honored to answer your question. We have over 400 members who work in the tourism industry and we’ve been faced with many challenges. However, we’ve also been working hard to jointly expand the market, such as cultural tourism.
"Our principle is to work together. We need to cooperate with each other. For example we have a program which set up a platform to cooperate with China. We did a lot of research to find out the trends in its tourism market with data from various Chinese institutes. We conducted both quantitative and qualitative research before promoting our products on social networks.
"We would like to invite officials from Beijing to Copenhagen to promote their city in Denmark. Our cooperation program has become a very influential one on social networks. We will continue to cooperate with each other on social networks because it will benefit our city."
Provatas Fotios, chairman of the Athens City Parliament, said that, "What is innovation in the tourism industry? It’s a bit vague. Sometimes, something that is new today may turn out to be old fashioned tomorrow.
"Sometimes, we have a very good idea but lack the advanced technology to realize it. To address this problem, we need cooperation between public and private sectors. We can invite bidding, and set up concrete regulations.
"The private sector can play an important role. It is especially important in some specific areas. Thus, segmentation of companies is also vital, for example, companies may focus on different areas such as cultural tourism and exhibition tourism."
Ms. Nancy Cockerell said in her remarks that, "When it comes to the criteria for a successful tourism city, the first is livability. The second is its happiness index. I’ve been studying this for many years.
"Fifteen years ago, I did this for tourism organizations. We made some case studies to analyze the cooperation between public and private sectors in tourism.
"I had some exchanges with a professional working in the tourism industry in a small European city. Both of us thought it’s important that people want to live and study in the city. And anyway, if the residents are very friendly, people tend to travel there more often and even live there because it is a city of happiness. Everyone will be happy including the mayor."
Mr.Wang Chunfeng, vice president of Utourworld.com Inc gives his views.
Ms.Wu Shaoyan, managing director, Abercrombie&Kent shares her opinions.
Mr.Dan Clayton Jones, Chair of the Wales Tourism Board gives an address.
Mr.Hansen Peter Romer, deputy director of Copenhagen Tourism Bureau shares his views.
Panelists discuss marketing models at the forum.
Provatas Fotios, chairman of the Athens City Parliament makes a remark.
Li Jingping,director of Dalian Tourism Buerau, said that, Dalian is an outstanding example of taking advantage of inter-urban interaction. First of all, as a city located in the north east of China, Dalian cooperates with four other cities in the area, including Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, and Anshan. Together they promote unique tourist resources, such as the northern mountains and forests, Linchuan, oceans, and snowy scenery. It has been proven that both domestic and international tourists are huge fans of these attractions.
Second, Dalian reaches out to maintain a close relationship with nations and regions in both the north east and south east of Asia to further develop its tourism industry.
Last but not least, Dalian continuously explores tourist markets by enhancing cooperation with Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Ms. Yury Schcegolkov, advisor to the Head of the Moscow City Committee on Tourism and the Hotel Industry is sharing Russia’s experiences in tourism. She attributes the increasing number of tourists to the simplified visa application procedures with other countries, particuarly with China.
And, she also said Russia has been proactively engaged with international and regional tourism exhibitions to promote its tourism industry.
Panel III: Cooperative innovative marketing model between enterprises and cities
Monitor: Ms. Nancy Cockerell, member of WTCF Expert Committee
Li Jingping, director of Dalian Tourism Buerau shares his views.
Ms. Yury Schcegolkov, advisor of the Head of the Moscow City Committee on Tourism and Hotel Industry shars her views.
Ignacio Dedelasi said in his address that, "I would like to introduce two initiatives to all of you. It’s funny, maybe you will like it. The first one is the cooperation between Vienna and Barcelona. Vienna is a small city, with a population of 1.5 million, and it is an important tourist destination. This is also the case for Barcelona, so we decided to cooperate in joint tourism promotion. We are partners in these activities rather than competitors.
"Our two cities decided to jointly promote themselves.Although the joint promotion wasn't determined until 2012, cooperation began in 2007, so both governments decided to regularly hold meetings, exhibitions and trade fairs.
"We shared some good tourism projects and participated in the same promotions. Through these activities, we saved costs. Promotions of Vienna and Barcelona have taken place in America and other countries, and received very good reactions. We innovated these projects and reaped brilliant rewards. Now we emphasize the promotion of the two cities in the Asian market."
Carl Weber said that, "I want to talk about the vision of the initiatives. First, the scale should be limited to a certain extent in the initial phase. This is very important because our cities are quite different in the beginning, some large and some small.
"These cities may not have sufficient manpower to engage in tourist market research, but we cannot exclude them. Because only with them can we really know how the current tourism market develops.
"Such development and analysis helps make us aware of our actual conditions, our challenges, the people involved in the tourism industry and their languages , professional skills and so on. So I hope we can make further explorations in this respect under the leadership of the WTCF. "
Mr Stephen Desroches, deputy mayor of Ottawa, expresses his opinions.
Mr.Burke Christy, mayor of Dublin city shares his views.
Mr Ignacio De Delas, deputy director general of the Tourism Bureau of Barcelona, shares his views.
Mr Karl Wober, member of the WTCF expert committee, shares his opinions.
Panel II: Tourism cities cooperation cases
Monitor: Mr John Koldowski, member of the WTCF expert committee
Li Wanfu said that, "We have tens of thousands of travel agencies in Korea, which are all small and medium-sized. We used to have several dozen on a single street. It was a mess and in need of integration.
We took the opportunity to become one of the largest tourism groups in Korea through financing and acquisition.
A city should not only care about how many enterprises it has, it should also be concerned with industry structures, products and cooperation with outside resources while focusing on integration of internal resources.
Qiu Xichun said in his address that, "As for Taikang, insurance is a very traditional industry. Now we have 200,000 agents, who look after 70 million yuan in assets and our premium income totals 80 billion yuan every year.
"However we are deeply aware of the impacts that mobile Internet may have on us, though we are in such a traditional industry. In light of this, we think deeply and take actions in a timely manner to relieve their impact. It is clear that all our companies are advertising themselves. Look at this concise ad made by Taikang. All you need to do is to scan the QR code, to find out about our great efforts, said Qiu Xichun.
"Now we are doing our best to enable our sales agents – the insurance sales and marketing promotion staff – to use mobile Internet more frequently. Meanwhile, all our customer services can be easily accessed via mobile phones.
"Taikang is the first insurance company to enable its customers to directly insure themselves and claim for compensation through their mobile phones and WeChat. Any claim with clearly defined responsibilities can be dealt with at once. Moreover, a number of services are being provided. We also provide loans based on insurance policies, which may not be regarded as a revolutionary change but they are significant for us."
Hu Ying said in her address, "China Unipay began its internationalization strategy in 2004. So far, we have businesses in 142 countries and regions around the globe. By the end of 2013, we had issued 3.21 billion bankcards, ranking top among the several big international bankcard associations. We ranked 2rd in terms of the volume of dealing.
"So China Unipay is actually offering the largest group of card holders’ sevices which are both safe and convenient."
Mr Zhang Shigang said in his address, "We sensed the increasing demands for travel in China due to rapid economic growth. Apart from increasing means of transportation through flights and other modes of transportation, the scale of tourism is expanding in new ways, including culture tours, exploration tours, and integration with conferences and exhibitions."
“The development of the tourism industry in turn leads to a better city life, which echoes the summit's slogan.“Tourism also boosts the economy.It is said that the whole industry now takes up 12 percent of global GDP, which is much higher than conventional industries.”
The panel has moved on to a Q&A session.
Mr. William Harber, vice president of the Asia Pacific Region of Carnival Corporation & Plc expresses his views.
Mr Li Wanfu, general manager of South Korean HanaTour Service Inc,gives his views at the forum.
Mr Qiu Xichun, vice president & secretary of Board of Directors of Taikang Life Insurance Co Ltd, expresses his views.
Ms Huying, assistant president of China UnionPay, gives her opinion.
Mr Zhang Shigang, vice-president of China Travel Service Head Office Co Ltd, discusses his views at the forum.
Panorama of the first panel
Zou Tongqian said that, "Our research group has written a guidebook named Quality Service Guidelines for Tourism Cities. We wrote the book based on information dealing with three aspects: the experiences of world tourism cities; the many standards set up by international tourism organizations; and award criteria.
"We drew the conclusion that services are quality services when they meet the following three requirements: commonly recognized by the community; offering services which are unique to the city;meeting the individualized demands of tourists.
"Our guidelines include two parts. One is Guidelines for City Public Services, which includes transportation, safety and security, hospitality and Eco-friendliness and being a smart city. The other is Guidelines for Tourism City Services, including quality food, accomodation, touring, and shopping and recreation services.
"Quality transportation services, for example, require the cities to offer quality services such as an airport, public transportation, taxi and car rental services."
Panel I: Joint development and industrial integration of tourism products
He Zhigang, general manager of the marketing department of Air China Limited spoke in the first panel.
Song Yu: "The rapid development of tourism creates huge opprtunities for us. From a global perspective, accelerating the development of the tourism industry has become the strategic decision of many countries and regions, especially in the Asia Pacific region, where tourism is increasingly bringing prosperity.
"This brings opportunities for the WTCF to seek cooperation with countries and regions around the world. It is the mission of the WTCF to promote the its cities’ construction and their tourism development.
"Based on the trends and the Federation’s positioning, we should focus on the present and but look forward, to accomplishing our mission by fully usinge six platforms: including information, academia, data, activities, cooperation and training."
Keynote speech: Study on international standards for world tourism service norms
Speaker：WTCF research group, Vice chairman of WTCF Expert Committee, Zou Tongqian
Mr. Martin Craigs said, “The Chinese government puts great emphasis on tourism, which can be read from Vice-Premier Wang Yang’s remarks.” In comparison, many European countries, however, “don’t value tourism's significance.” He also noted that “the government addresses the importance of cooperation among different countries.”
Mr Craigs offered a few tips to build up a world-class tourism city with the belief that leadership, partnership and knowledge sharing are significant to help reach the goal.
Keynote speech: WTCF Driving the Development of Tourism Cities-new challenges, new platform and new opportunities
Speaker：WTCF Secretary-General, Song Yu
The forum in the theme with WTCF driving the development of tourism cities just starts, and it is monitored by Mr Ernest Wooden Jr, vice-chairman of cities of the council and director of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
The first keynote speaker is Mr Martin Craigs, representing the PATA. His speech is titled "Study on Standards for World-Class Tourism Cities."
The news conference comes to an end.
Ms Noel Irwin Hentschel, representing American Tours International, signs an agreement with Mr Song Yu from the WTCF and Mr Qiu Xichun, vice president & secretary of Board of Directors of Taikang Life Insurance Co Ltd.
Mr. Wei Xiaoan, director of the WTCF expert committee, attends the press conference.
Mr. Song Yu, secretary-general of the WTCF, gave a speech at the press conference.
"Just now, the World Tourism Cities Federation signed strategic agreements with the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the Moroccan National Tourist Office, the LA Tourism & Convention Board, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Taikang Life Insurance Co. The WTCF also inked cooperative agreements with Taikang Life Insurance Co, the head office of China International Travel Services Limited and ATI of the US.
"The WTCF offers a platform to carry out more pragmatic cooperation among cities, between cities and institutions, and among institutions, which will promote the win-win cooperation among members, widen cooperation fields and lift the cooperation level.
"Three themed sessions will be held this afternoon concerning the WTCF's promotion of tourism development, digital media and smart tourism.
"The tourism trade conference launched during the summit will attract more than 240 tourism enterprises and institutions at home and abroad. The trade conference will endeavor to match 1,500 pairs and organize them to conduct face-to-face business talks on outbound tourism of China in an attempt to maximize cooperative opportunities."
Mr. Song Yu, on behalf of the WTCF, signs an agreement with the Moroccan National Tourist Office.Mr Song also signed agreements with Mr Ernest Wooden Jr, representing the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, and Mr Qiu Xichuan, vice-president of Taikang Insurance.
Mr. Song Yu, on behalf of the WTCF, signs an agreement with Abderrafia Zouitene, director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office.
Rabat and Fez of Morocco win bid to host the 2015 Summit of the World Tourism Cities Federation. This will be the first time that the summit will be held overseas.
The WTCF signs cooperation agreements with a few international organizations. Mr. Li Baochun, deputy secretary-general of the WTCF, hosts the signing ceremony.
Mr. Scott Supernaw, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), gave a speech at the Summit.
"Tourism has contributed a lot to the economy of our member countries. To maintain development, we should set up strategic plans.
"The Pacific Asia travel Assocation (PATA), in collaboration with the public sector and business enterprises, aims to increase the employment rate and enhance mutual understanding among our members.
"Today, we are very happy to work hand in hand with the WTCF to promote the development of the tourism industry by intergrating resources and exchanging ideas and talent training. I believe that our cooperation will make a difference to the social and eoconomic development of our members."
Li Baodong,vice-minister of the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a speech at the Summit.
"The tourism industry has become one of the most-rapidly developing industries and attracts a billion visitors per year around the globe.In developing countries, tourism makes up 45 percent of their overall service exports. Tourism has become the biggest engine for global economic growth.
"Honorable guests, the World Tourism Cities Federation was founded in 2012, and has been dedicated to promoting the construction of cities, enhancing city profiles through tourism. It has also been working hard to increase exchanges between cities.
"With great efforts, the Federation has gained a good reputation and become increasingly influential. In this summit, tourism cities from around the world will discuss how tourism can benefit the development of cities, the trends emerging in a digital era and the significance of an analysis of China’s tourism market."
Ms. Chenghong is now wrapping up the opening ceremony.
Ms. Chenghong is talking about the development of WTCF, noting that “the organization had 58 founding members in 2012, but the figure has almost increased to 135 so far.” She is also saying that the final task is to welcome WTCF's new members.
Ms. Cheng Hong introduces the WTCF We Media platform, which integrates the Internet, mobile media, social media and print media, to guests, especially noting the offical website consisting of 53 member cities and organisations so far.
Plays WTCF promo trailer
Mr. Shao Qiwei said, "China has been the biggest country in the world in terms of outbound tourism consumption，and has a huge domestic market.
"Under such a circumstance, we call for governments at national and regional level to open up tourism markets through adopting preferential policies. We also propose to open new airline routes between member cities, and at the same time to improve highways, railways, marine transportation, telecommunications, networks and other related infrastructures for greater interconnection and interaction.
"And thirdly, we put emphasis on bringing the strengths of member cities into full play and taking effective actions to enhance brand building and collaboration, to which we believe that WTCF will play a leading role in the tourism industry. "
Bi Jingquan (Deputy Secretary of the State Council): "The Summit is focusing on markets and cooperation, aiming to enhance mutual understanding and expand cooperation.
"We hope to jointly explore the development paths of tourism cities, share our experiences, and share the benefits of the tourism markets. We are accelerating the pace of the facilitation of railways, roads, and water transportation, and the time and cost of tourism can thereby be reduced.
"We are using advanced technologies such as the internet, and cloud computing to construct smart tourism cities. With the integration of finance, business, information and transportation, more individualized, professional and standardized services will be possible."
In Wang Anshun’s address, he said "Beijing municipal government will reform the tourism industry and embed the notion of sustainable development." The mayor also proposed a resolution, saying that "tourism should be encouraged to incorporate agriculture in order to speed up the pace of urbanization."
Finally, Mr. Wang said that regional collaboration in tourism would bring economic and social benefits in the longer term.
Li Baodong, vice-minister of the China Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is speaking to the guests.
In the address, Mr. Shao is calling for enhanced cooperation between member states through the simplification of visa application procedures.
Mr. Shao Qiwei, director of the China National Tourism Administration, addresses the guests.
The “2014 World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit” is about to start. Ready for the event!