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.
The Summit comes to an end.
Mr. Lu Yong, said "Under the leadership of Mr. Wang Anshun, mayor of Beijing, it has been an honor to work with my colleagues the past two years. The summit was very successful. I will always remember today’s success. I believe that we will make greater achievements in the future through joint efforts. I wish everyone success in their work! Thank you!"
Mr. Song Yu voiced that, “We had deep and thorough discussions on many hot topics, such as how the WTCF can promote tourism for member cities, the transition of inbound tourism models, the innovation of tourism products, outbound tourism consumption in China, and how technology innovation can promote the development of the tourism industry.
“During the summit, many representatives, industry leaders and scholars gave excellent suggestions based on their experiences. We also reached some agreements. This has been very beneficial to strengthening cooperation among members and expanding the tourism market together.
“The tourism trade fair, which was a new addition, saw participation from more than 200 famous tourism companies and organizations. After rounds of business negotiation, many of them have shown interest in cooperation.”
Mr. Ji Yan remarked that the WTCF has become a platform for win-win cooperation, and it's a great honor to hold the summit in Fengtai district. The traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is coming in two days, and I wish friends from all over the world a merry festival.
Mr. Song Yu, WTCF secretary-general, delivers closing remarks.
Mr. Lu Yong, the first secretary-general of the WTCF, delivers a speech.
Mr. Abderrafia Zouitene, director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office, gives a speech.
Mr. Wang Anshun, mayor of Beijing, hands the federation flag to Mr. Abderrafia Zouitene, director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office, and the national representative of the host country of the 2015 WTCF Summit.
Mr. Ji Yan, head of Beijing's Fengtai district, gives a report.
Hosts: Mr. Richard Ma from the WTCF and Ms. Gao Shan from MASTV, a member of the WTCF's Committee of Media Organizations
The Summit's closing ceremony begins.
Panel III comes to an end.
Ms. Sun Taiquan, vice president of ICN TV Network, expressed that, "Foreigners have different views from the Chinese. For example, Chinese people think their Yellow Mountain is stunningly beautiful. However, the Americans may think the mountains in their country are the most beautiful. Thus, Yellow Mountain may not be that beautiful in their eyes.
"I think smart tourism is a very individualized experience. It is the personal experience that counts."
Prof. Zhang Hui, member of WTCF Expert Committee, shared his opinion, "Smart tourism didn’t appeared in China until recently due to an underdeveloped public service system.
"Based on the situation, we need to cover the shortage in the public service system by using smart tourism and utilizing a self-built service system. The concept has not been proposed in foreign countries, but should be emphasized in China.
"In fact, smart tourism integrates numerous pieces of tourism information through cloud computing, the Internet and IOT to offer tour guides, shopping guides, navigation and exhibition guides for tourists."
Ms. Belpulsi Theresa Marie, vice president of Tourism for Destination DC, said, "Last year, when I was in Sydney, I didn’t have a clue where to have supper. I posted my questions on Facebook and got many responses. Some were from locals. The whole dining process was very pleasant indeed.
"For tourism cities, we need to encourage locals to tell their stories, which may be not that exciting but are real and touching. This way, the city’s profile is better promoted.
"In the US, we always say we need the public for publicity."
Mr. Sun Chaohui, general manager of Local Service Department of Qunar.com, said, "User demand for products has changed dramatically with the growth of FIT and mobile agents. Unlike in the past, when we had most orders with packaged tour products, new product mixes are emerging with more convenient and dynamic schedules.
"Meanwhile, the access of information involving hotels, scenic spots, tickets, food, transportation and commodities is a new hot issue. Factors that used to be scattered among diverse industries are being formed into a new complex.
"Among the core industries of transportation and accommodation, the users create solutions through which they can integrate different elements together. Main product booking and more flexible decisions are both available now.
"This new travel model brings a more open, free and relaxing experience for users, and new opportunities and challenges for this industry."
Panelist: Ms. Sun Taiquan, vice president of ICN TV Network
Panel III kicks off.
Topic: Interactive experience of smart tourism in the multimedia era
Keynote speech: Mobile terminal applications create new opportunities for online travel services
Speaker: Mr. Sun Chaohui, general manager of Local Service Department of Qunar.com
Panel III begins.
Presenter: Mr. Zhang Cong, CRI Oline host
Mr. Yu Liang, member of the WTCF Expert Committee, voiced that, "I think topics about online and offline marketing campaigns are very important. As technology grows, more media options are appearing and serving tourism campaigns.
"The newly-added media options include multimedia and new media, such as digital media, mobile media and social media. Simultaneously, traditional media is continuously making progress.
"Therefore, I want to emphasize the importance of the integration of new media and traditional media. This integration will guarantee a better outcome for the industry."
Mr. Roger Carter, member of the WTCF Expert Committee said that it's well-known that social media is significant. Generally speaking, social media plays its role by influencing attitudes, instead of directly inciting action. Tourists choose their destinations through other channels.
Mr. Ralf Ostendorf, director of sales at Berlin Tourism Marketing, voiced that "The innovative industry is developing very rapidly in Berlin. We have a lot of young enterprises and many emerging companies are settling down here.
"This helps us to promote Berlin to the world. We can attract people to Berlin because Berlin is interesting and we welcome visitors here, and so we encourage them to recommend Berlin to their friends."
Ms.Gao Wen, editor-in-chief of the Tourism Channel, SINA.com, also made her remarks, "A traveler’s trip consists of four stages: i.e. (1) self-discovery, (2) booking on line or through other channels, (3) on the way, (4) getting back and sharing. Sina has been committed to providing a complete service for users. We do not rely on price in this aspect.
"I think most tourism E-business will strive to serve each vertical segment in a better way while focusing on users’ demands rather than relying on price in the future.
"We conducted a data analysis for over 500 million micro blog users. On the one hand, we found over 60 percent of users login, post and share messages by mobile phone.
"On the other hand, among those micro blog users, more than 65 million users select self-defined tourism and similar labels. A background analysis indicates that 50 percent of the users were born after the 1980s, while 36 percent of them were born after 1970, so the trend will certainly reflect a critical function of the channel."
Mr.Liu Lijun, senior director of the Tourism Industry, Baidu.com, shared that, "It is obvious that current tourists are younger compared with the situation a few years ago, when most tourists were 30-35 years old. Leisure tourism is developing rapidly now. In addition, the wireless era has arrived.
"We can see that the majority of tourists use iPads and mobile phones. Another trend is that more and more enhanced international destination marketing methods have appeared, such as TV programs like Where are We Going, Daddy?"
Panelist: Mr. Yu Liang, member of the WTCF Expert Committee
Panelist: Mr. Roger Carter, member of the WTCF Expert Committee
Panelist: Mr. Ralf Ostendorf, director of sales at Berlin Tourism Marketing
Panelist: Ms. Gao Wen, editor-in-chief of the Tourism Channel, SINA.com
Panelist: Mr. Liu Lijun, senior director of the Tourism Industry, Baidu.com
Keynote speech: New mode of combining online and offline travel destination marketing
Speaker: Daniel Houghton, CEO of Lonely Planet
Panel II starts.
Presenter: Li Xin, Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF's Media Organizations, Deputy Editor-in-chief of China Daily Website
Ms. Sylviana Murni, deputy governor of Jakarta, shared her opinion that, "We now have our own websites and blogs. We also have conferences and forums. All the 30 provinces have their own characteristic and Jakarta is only a tiny part of Indonesia through which tourists can get an idea of the entire country.
"We are exhibiting several provinces’ tourism resources on the Internet. We have also bonded with some sister cities which are expected to better promote our tourism resources."
Mr. Fan Yueying, CEO of ichuguo.chinadaily.com.cn, remarked that "Based on my working experience, all the decisions will be made based on data in the future. Future business is also based on big data.
"Thus, I think smart tourism is possible when information is ordered. This applies to both domestic tourism as well as outbound and inbound tourism. In other words, we are trying to help them make wise decisions. This is also our primary aim."
Mr. Li Mingru, CEO of kulv.com, made his remarks that, the idea of smart tourism is about nothing but information flow. Big data applications are extremely helpful when building smart tourist cities.
"We should focus more on the places where the tourists acquire information, as well as the ways in which the data is shown. And these issues are of great importance." he said.
Mr. Peter Picton, executive editor-in-chief of the Mirror, said that, "Our decisions are based on news content and form. For tourism practitioners, they are more concerned with tourism product qaulity.
"Individuation is greatly emphasized in the tourism industry, since everyone is unique. Thus, we should offer content in accordance with each person's reading habits. As for mobile phone apps, our content continues to change with time."
Mr. Li Mingde, member of the WTCF Expert Committee, voiced that, "We used to use the word 'intelligent' a lot and rarely use 'smart', which made the word 'smart' very inviting. So we now tend to use smart as a substitute for 'intelligent'.
"Actually, 'smart' has two implications: the changes brought by science and technology and the changes brought by a prosperous culture."
Mr. Li Mingde, member of the WTCF Expert Committee, on the panel.
Mr. Peter Picton, executive editor-in-chief of the Mirror, on the panel.
Mr. Li Mingru, CEO of kulv.com, on the panel.
Mr. Fan Yueying, CEO of ichuguo.chinadaily.com.cn, makes his remarks.
Ms. Sylviana Murni, deputy governor of Jakarta, shares her opinion.
Panelists discuss smart tourism at the forum.
Ms. Lily Cheng, TripAdvisor Media Group President, APAC, voiced that, "I used to ask tourists the key factors impacting their decisions when booking accommodation. To my surprise their answer was not transportation but wifi!
"Because they all have laptops, and smart phones, they are mostly in need of wifi. No matter whether they are in a hotel or traveling around city, they hope to get access to the internet anytime."
In his lecture, Mr. Qu introduced that, "China Daily 'iChuguo.com' has developed an 'integrated searching and communication platform', which gathers abundant travel information at home and abroad. And it will launch a ratings campagin for the Award of the top 10 tourist destinations for Chinese travellers.
"To sum up, chinadaily.com.cn looks forward to carrying out comprehensive cooperation with the entities of the tourism industries present here at the forum.
"It’s often said that 'people to people exchange is the basis of conversation between countries' and this applies to cities too. So, how to convert this group of people to present their hosting cities’ culture is very critical to maintain their vitality and growth."
Mr. Ye Yijian, president of the City Tourism Academy of ifeng.com, presenter of Panel I
Mr. Qu voiced that "China Daily online travel platform 'iChuguo.com' specializes in providing an information service for the outbound tourism market, and gathers best outbound travel routes from travel agencies as well as travel experiences from veteran international travelers and tourists.
"The website has rolled out a reality travel show: The Ambassador takes you on a global tour, in which ambassadors on behalf of many countries recommend travel routes to the audience, and which is accessible from mobile phones, PCs, tablets, TV and other display devices. There have been ambassadors presenting dozens of countries.
"I suggest that print media, news websites, tourist E-commerce sites and travel agencies should work together to integrate resources and optimise the strength of each player against a background of the tourism transformation.
"And, I also believe that it is important to seek new business modes and to provide better customer services in the tourism industry with the help of new media."
Mr. Qu Yingpu also said that, "If you mentioned China, foreigners hardly knew about its vast geographic landscapes and rich culture. They simply knew about pandas, kung fu, the Great Wall, and the Forbidden City, partially because they could only get a few photos and videos about the country.
"But now tourists can easily get access to the flow of information, such as images, texts, audios, and videos helping them understand the charm of China and feel like they are on the scene personally."
Panel I starts.
Presenter: Mr. Ye Yijian, president of the City Tourism Academy of ifeng.com
Keynote speech: Big data constructing a new wave of smart tourism
Speaker: Ms. Lily Cheng, TripAdvisor Media Group President, APAC
Mr. Qu said in his speech that, "Mobile internet and social media have seen solid growth in recent years with new technologies such as big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things coming into existence, changing people’s lives and work styles. Against this background, the tourism industry heavily relies on information dissemination and has been through great changes striving towards consumer-oriented services.
"Both traditional and online travel agencies have been making full efforts to produce mobile service modules, including travel experience sharing, destination guidance, and other travel services. There have been 40% percent of travelers in China who use Apps to book their tours, do so to get a better traveling experience with lower costs.
"Many countries have set up social media accounts to attract more Chinese tourists, and, at the same time, some Chinese cities have begun to operate Facebook and Twitter accounts, intentionally attracting attention from overseas."
Keynote speech: New Media Application: Explore a New Way to Spread Tourism Culture Worldwide
Speaker: Mr. Qu Yingpu, Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, chair of WTCF's Committee of Media Organizations, Deputy Editor-in-chief of China Daily
Forum: Digital Media and Smart Tourism, Smart City
Presenter: Mr. Joey Catanzar, foreign expert of China Daily
The morning forums come to an end.
Mr. Danny Law Heng Kiang, Penang State Tourism Development & Culture, said that, "Some local customs and practices, even cultural traditions, have disappeared in the Chinese Mainland, but have been well protected in Penang, Malaysia. Their senior citizens may travel once or twice a year, perhaps to Europe and the US this year, and to Southeast Asia the next.
"Penang is also a very popular tourism destination; we saw many seniors from China travel to Penang, which is great. What you have said is very important. While focusing on the post 1980s generation, we shouldnot ignore the tourism markets of seniors (such as Hakka) and the protection of their cultures (such as the Hakka culture)."
Mr. Jorge Franz, vice-president of International Sales and Tourism at Geater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, shared his view, "Houston may not be the top priority for some people when they consider traveling to America for the first time; but they may consider coming to Houston when they visit the US for the second or third time.
"Texas used to be part of Mexico and then became a state of the US; so traveling to the Texan capital, Houston will give people an idea of the history of Texas and the role Houston played in America’s history.
"Many professionals such as doctors and scientific research specialists visit the medical center in Houston each year in order to learn the most advanced technologies and experiences.
"In all, there are many Chinese tourists in Houston, and we very much welcome more of them from China to visit Houston."
Ms. Meng Fang made her remarks that, "Chinese people’s interest in US medical tourism keeps rising. As you know, medical tourism resources are very limited in China, with a lack of sufficient medical workers; however, China has a huge population, which has resulted in obvious shortages.
"There is also a very urgent issue – difficult and expensive medical treatment. From some reports and data, I know that an increasing number of Chinese tourists are planning to receive medical treatment in the US, which is cheaper than what they can find in China."
The final panelist is Ms. Meng Fang, member of WTCF Expert Committee.
Mr. Tony Wai, president of Ipsos China UU, said that, it is important to regard tourists as the cities’ residents, as locals. Don’t treat them as foreigners.
For example, many Chinese tourists do not speak English. If they go abroad, they won’t have a pleasant experience without pamphlets or menus in Chinese. Thus they may not choose to come again to the scenic spot.
They will probably prefer a hotel or restaurant with Chinese translations.
Mr. Jorge Franz, vice president of International Sales and Tourism at Geater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, voices his views with the audience.
Mr. Danny Law Heng Kiang, Penang State Tourism Development & Culture, shares his opinions at the forum.
The second panelist is Ms. Zheng Dan, excutive vice-president of Caissa Touristic.
The first panelist is Mr. Guo Xiaodong, vice-president of China CYTS Tours Holding Co.
The discussion session has just started. It is monitored by Mr. Alastair M. Morrison, vice-chairman of the WTCF expert committee.
Panelists are discussing two topics, analysis on outbound consumption of Chinese citizens and diverse selections of outbound tourism.
Mr. Tony Wai is delivering a keynote speech to the audience.
Panel II: Outbound market
Keynote speech: Interpretation of a study on Chinese outbound tourism consumption
Speaker: Mr. Tony Wai, president of Ipsos China UU
Ms.Noel Irwin Hentschel, CEO of Amerian Tours International LLC made her remarks that, "Luoyang is a tourism center. We hope more and more American and Canadian tourists come to China.
"Back in the US, domestic travel services have launched a $99 tourism package. However, the package takes overseas tourists to fewer places of interest and other places for shopping.
"More international tourists, such as Americans and Canadians, want to see the real China and enjoy local cities, simply because gaining an experience is very important for them."
“China is now witnessing fast tourism development and has established lots of infrastructure for domestic tourists. But what I want to say is that Chinese people should not ignore overseas tourists, and I hope China can conserve its local style because tourists to China prefer authentic and original sceneries and want to see a country with unique features,” said Marcel Schneider.
"We all know that the Monkey King is a character in Journey to the West. Xuanzang, the Monkey King’s tutor is from Luoyang. So I feel very happy, yet also ashamed to learn this.
"My personal suggestion is that Luoyang should make full use of this point to promote its tourism. Because he is very famous in Japan, you don’t need any advertisements at all!"
Mr.Tokumura Shisei, member of WTCF Expert Committee expresses his opinions with guests.
The third speaker is Ms.Noel Irwin Hentschel, CEO of Amerian Tours International LLC.
The second panelist, Mr Marcel Schneider, CEO of TUI AG's China region, shares his opinions with guests.
The first panelist, Mr Wei Xianfeng, deputy mayor of Luoyang, discusses Luoyang's tourism development with the audience.
Mr Dai Bin, president of the China Tourism Academy, monitors the panel.
The first speaker is Ms.Xu Fan, a member of the Expert Committee of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Mr Wei called for more tourism professionals needed in China at home and abroad to provide better customer services. He also said that Chinese tourism will have a huge impact on the whole industry, and vice-versa.
The discussion has begun, and is being monitored by Mr. Dai Bin, President of China's Tourism Academy.
Mr.Wei Xiao’an, Chairman of the WTCF Experts Committee , is giving a keynote speech on the theme of Globalization of Chinese tourism.
This morning's forum – which is themed with an Analysis of China’s Tourism Market – has just started, and it is being monitored by Mr. Fernando, president of Buenos Aires Tourism Board.