"Hong Kong and Beijing have entered a new period beyond signing cooperative programs on tourism, with an eye to more interaction and cooperation.
"Currently, the passenger flows from Beijing to Hong Kong remain high, while Hong Kong plans to pursue joint development in tourism with Beijing. Taking advantage of its well-developed traffic system, Hong Kong would attract foreign visitors first, then direct these tourism flows into cities on the mainland such as Beijing and Shanghai.
"Since Hong Kong has had tourism authorities since 1957, we would like to use our advanced experience in tourism management in other cities to fuel their growth, thus motivating mutual development."
Becky Ip, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board
"Residents from mainland cities have been the majority of our visitors in Macao in recent years, accounting for at least 80 percent of the total.
"The short distance, easy access to permits for Macao and higher incomes have been the major reasons for the increasingly larger passenger flow to Macao.
"Though more passengers from foreign countries are willing to visit the city, the growth rate is smaller than that of domestic passengers in Macao.
"We will take the good opportunity presented by the World Tourism Cities Federation and the upcoming APEC meeting of top tourist officials to promote the city to the world, to diversify the sources of visitors."
William Wong, representative in Beijing of the tourism group from the Macao Special Administration Region
"The cities have a long history and rich cultural resources, like Beijing and many other cities in China. We have several travel agencies to provide services for Chinese visitors, including language and catering, and we will promote our tourist attractions to China in the future to tap into the huge market."
Amraoui Allal, deputy mayor of Fez in Morocco. Rabat and Fez jointly won the bid to host the 2015 Tourism Summit of the World Tourism Cities Federation
"Xi'an government will devote its efforts to establishing an intelligent tourism platform and build the Silk Road economic belt.
"As the beginning of the Silk Road, Xi'an is a city facing Central Asia and Europe's economic areas and is backed by China's vast central and eastern economic landscape. The city plays an important role as an economic bridgehead to implement China's 'Go West' strategy.
"Tourism resources in Xi'an have inherent advantages and international influence. These enabled tourism to become a leading industry in the construction of the Silk Road economic belt, and they provide an important opportunity for further development of the industry.
"The city's next goals are to form a Silk Road economic belt tourism alliance, open related train routes and operate 72-hour visa-free policies to integrate tourism and economic development and enhance the city's image."
Wu Yiqin, deputy mayor of Xi'an
"What is the most important quality of a tourism city? First of all, people make the city. If you give the chance to the world to see its people, to feel the atmosphere, I think it will be great. This includes making a lot of procedures easier, presenting cultural exchanges and events like this.
"In the 21st century, I think every minute has a challenge. There are a lot of destinations and great offers around the world. So we have to be very attentive to target the specific customer. And we have to build the brand, through which people can associate Sofia with a desire to go there."
Adriana Momchilova, head of the International Affairs, Marketing and Promotion Department of Sofia, Bulgaria
(China Daily 09/05/2014 page7)