Building a Bridge of Friendship through Tourism——WTCF Rabat & Fez Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2015 Kicks off
On the morning of 21 September, the WTCF Rabat & Fez Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2015 opened in the Sofitel hotel of Rabat, the Kingdom of Morocco. The theme of this year's Summit is World Tourism Cities: Diversity and Sustainability.
WTCF is a non-profit international tourism organization voluntarily formed by famous tourism cities and tourism-related institutions in the world under the initiative of Beijing. Since its inception three years ago, guided by the vision of Better City Life through Tourism, WTCF has committed itself to promoting various forms of exchanges and cooperation among its city members and the development of tourism industries in cities. With its membership growing from 58 to 151 today, WTCF has emerged as a key driving force of global tourism development. The Summit today has attracted over 400 participants, including 311 delegates of 100 WTCF members from 69 cities and 31 tourism-related institutions in 42 countries and regions, as well as invited guests from various sectors. His Excellency Mr. Abdelilah Benkirane, Head of the Moroccan Government and the representatives of UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Global Tourism Economy Forum (Macao), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and other international tourism organizations have also attended the opening ceremony of the Summit today.
Ms. Cheng Hong, Deputy Chairman of WTCF Council, Vice Mayor of Beijing, delivered a welcome speech
During the opening ceremony, Ms. Cheng Hong, Deputy Chairman of the WTCF Council, delivered a welcome speech. Ms. Cheng reviewed the progress of WTCF in the past year, and shared her vision for the work of WTCF next year. Mr. Márcio Favilla Lucca de Paula, Executive Director of UNWTO, Mr. Duan Qiang, Vice Chairman of WTTC, and other representatives of international tourism organizations, also spoke at the opening ceremony. They offered congratulations to the Summit and expressed their appreciation for the efforts and contributions of WTCF in promoting tourism industry development in the world. Mr. Lahcen Haddad, the Moroccan Minister of Tourism, also delivered warm remarks, and expressed their hope to work more closely with WTCF to promote tourism development in Morocco and beyond. The opening session of the Summit also included the admission ceremony of the new WTCF members, including Phnom Penh and Cape Town, and the inauguration ceremony of the WTCF Committee of Cruise Tourism initiated by cities including Qingdao and Athens and several cruise companies. The signing ceremony of cooperation agreements between international tourism organizations, tourism cities and tourism-related institutions, including WTCF and UNWTO, WTCF and Ctrip, WTCF and China Association of Private Equity, Beijing and Buenos Aires, and Morocco and Chongqing, was also held during the opening session.
Mr. Wang Anshun,Chairman of WTCF Council, Mayor of Beijing, addressed by vedio
The opening ceremony was followed by the meeting of the WTCF Council. Secretary-General Song Yu delivered the annual work report to the Council. The presentations of Chongqing and three other candidate cities of the 2016 Summit were also heard during the meeting. Chongqing was chosen as the host city of the 2016 Summit through a voting conducted by the Council.
Meeting of the WTCF Council
City members listened carefully
The Summit this year is the first WTCF Summit to be held in an African city, which shows WTCF’s determination to broaden its global dimension and its commitment to supporting Africa’s tourism development. With a large turnout, the Summit in the morning was conducted in a lively atmosphere and highly successful. (The Moroccan government attaches great importance to the Summit. It has coordinated with the relevant parties in arranging the reception and logistical services, which ensured the success of the meeting.) This demonstrates the shared commitment and desire of WTCF and the Moroccan Government to jointly promote the development of world tourism cities and tourism development in Morocco and Africa. Tourism drives economic growth and promotes culture and friendship. We hope to seize the opportunity of the Summit to build a bridge of friendship connecting world tourism cities and a bridge of friendship among our peoples through tourism.
This afternoon, we will move to the ancient city of Fez for the forums and marketplace of the Summit. Under the theme Diversity and Sustainability, the participants will have an opportunity to discuss and exchange views on tourism market expansion, internet and big data application and cooperation among WTCF members to keep up with the new trend of diversity in tourism development. The marketplace will be attended by world-famous tourism companies and related institutions. We will arrange one-on-one business talks for buyers and sellers to maximize chances of cooperation.