Summary of 2016 International Tourist Destination (Cities) Promotion and Marketing Training and First WTCF Training

Publish Time:2016-05-27 17:30:26

【Introduction】:Between March 29 and April 1, 2016, the Secretariat of World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) held four-day “International Tourist Destination (Cities) Promotion and Marketing Training.”

Between March 29 and April 1, 2016, the Secretariat of World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) held four-day “International Tourist Destination (Cities) Promotion and Marketing Training.” The training aimed to expand channels for member cities to conduct marketing activities in their destination cities in China, improve the service quality of receiving Chinese tourists in the international market, communicate on cultural differences, and enhance understandings and mutual trust. This event marks the first time that WTCF has held an international training event and opens up a new pattern for WTCF to carry out international tourist trainings.


(Source: WTCF)

I. Basic Information

The “International Tourist Destination (Cities) Promotion and Marketing Training” is intended to introduce the development and needs of China’s tourism market to international member cities, promote the coordination of policies, and intensify measures so as to enable members to have a deeper understanding of the differences between eastern and western cultures and attract and serve Chinese tourists in a more comprehensive manner. The training was conducted in English, and present at the event were 20 trainees from member cities of 12 countries; i.e. Britain, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Morocco, Seychelles, Serbia, Chile, Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia, and Ecuador. Meanwhile, the training invited renowned experts and scholars, senior executives of tourism enterprises, and representatives from tourism media as lecturers and exchange guests. The training courses focused on the current situation and development trends of China’s outbound tourism, consumption structures, habits, psychology, and behavior of China’s outbound tourists; promotion and marketing of China’s tourism market, and the improvement of the quality of receiving and serving Chinese tourists. During the training, trainees visited the headquarters of Ctrip and had face-to-face exchanges with members of media sub-committees, tourism enterprises, and relevant enterprises; they then took part in various on-site experience courses such as teaching case analysis and research, field trips in scenic areas, and exchanges of managerial experience. Nicolaus Lumananuw from Tangjung Pandan of Indonesia said that he got, “An all-round and in-depth understanding of China’s tourism market and tourists and benefited a lot from the operational and well-focused training courses given by lecturers with broad vision and rich knowledge.”

II. Lecturers of the Training Courses

Training courses are well-focused and meet the needs of international member cities. Before the training, the WTCF Secretariat did research on the needs of international member cities and prepared courses by centering on what the members was concerned about most, i.e. “marketing in China’s destination cities and improving the quality of receiving and serving Chinese tourists.”

Training courses are theoretical, operational, specific and vivid. The lecturers include experts and scholars who come from renowned universities and research institutes such as Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Nankai University, and Beijing International Studies University; additionally, practitioners who came from Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Ctrip.com and Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting, who themselves are very active on the frontline of the tourism industry and have rich practical experience. They present the complicated courses in simple language with detailed data, profound theories, and interesting cases, thus receiving positive response from the trainees. Kouassi Camille, Counselor of Cote d'Ivoire Embassy in China said that he, “spoke highly of and felt satisfied at professionalism and international vision of the lecturers.”

Instruction, survey, and panel discussions are combined. The training is carried out in small classes where lecturers and students have frequent discussions and interactions. Besides, the media and tourism-related enterprises of WTCF have been used to conduct various panel discussions and exchange activities. On April 29th, Sina.com, Tecent.com and Tourism Geography introduced the values of traditional media, the current development situation of China’s internet, and the use of the social media Microblog in China to the trainees. These three media companies also expounded how destination cities could use new media methods to have face-to-face exchanges with trainees, introduce their own resources, and offer suggestions for member cities to conduct marketing activities in China. On the afternoon of April 30th, the trainees went to the Beijing branch of Ctrip.com for field study, and learning about big-data marketing strategies of Ctrip.com. Analyzing the big data helps the trainees understand the overall needs of tourists from planning and setting out, to returning home; analyzing behaviors allows us to recommend relevant tourism products to tourists. The trainees showed keen interest in the analysis of the big-data system and behaviors. Therefore, they raised questions actively and said that the big-data system of Ctrip were rich, effective, and impressive. On the evening of April 30th, managers of renowned tourism enterprises such as China International Travel Service, China Youth Travel Service, China Travel Service, Ctrip, BTG International Travel & Tours, CAISSA Touristic, and China Railway Travel Service were invited to the banquet for a discussion with trainees about the patterns of resource sharing and cooperation.

Furthermore, trainees were organized to take a trip to tour Badaling Great Wall and the Palace Museum, listed as World Cultural Heritage sites, to survey tourism resources in Beijing and learn about the managerial experience and service measures of China’s travel organizations. Management personnel at Badaling Scenic Area introduced managerial experience, tourist habits, and management measures to the trainees; researchers at the Palace Museum presented the history, architectural features, collections, culture, and development trends of the museum. As tourists, the trainees appreciated beautiful landscapes. As tourism practitioners, they got to experience Beijing tourism development and management, learn about the travelling needs and concerns of Chinese tourists; they also got a chance to view the manners and opportunities of strengthening destination promotion in China’s market.

III. Trainees’ Feedback

All the trainees were senior executives and practitioners from tourism departments of member cities; they expected to learn about China’s tourism market and Chinese tourists through the training. By means of after-class investigations and exchanges, we realized that most trainees felt satisfied with the setting of the training courses and activity arrangements. 66% of the trainees were satisfied or extremely satisfied with all the details of training organization work. Not to mention, all the trainees thought the training was very helpful towards their future work; they hoped that WTCF will hold more trainings of this kind and carry out specific trainings in subdivided fields.

Most trainees said the training courses were vividly presented through detailed examples and data. According to in-class interviews and questionnaires, the trainees thought the training courses were comprehensive, rigorous, specific, and objective; involving detailed data, unique perspectives, macro views, and micro cases. It was the first time that Yang Ke, who was responsible for promoting Belgrade tourism worldwide, came to China. Therefore, he cherished the training opportunity. He said that he benefited a lot from the training courses and got a favorable impression of China. He hoped to deepen his understanding of China’s culture and tourism market through learning and exchanges. The trainees were satisfied with the new teaching form. Through the introduction of Sina.com and Tecent.com, the trainees opened up WeChat and Microblog accounts at the class and exchanged their feelings towards using the platforms. After returning to their homeland, trainees from Edinburgh said they hoped to use WTCF’s resources to help them conduct marketing activities via new media in China. Field study and discussions at Ctrip impressed the trainees, who were very interested in the big-data system and website of Ctrip. They felt surprised at the scientificity and promptness of the big-data system of China’s online tourism enterprises. The trainees had lively exchanges and discussions with tourism enterprises on site and learned about marketing conditions, tourism products, and tourist preferences of their own cities via the internet.

IV. Experience

This first training event from WTCF has great significance in improving member service systems, expanding international cooperation fields, and eliminating cognitive differences between Chinese and Western people.

1. Training courses were need-oriented, combining theory and practice. Focusing on how international destination cities could conduct marketing activities in China, the courses involved theory, macro views, data, cases, practices, and the frontier of markets. Therefore, the courses were highly instructive and operational for member cities to carry out marketing activities.

2. The event introduced resources of city members and institutional members and builds a platform for cooperation. By arranging the media to have deep exchanges and communications with tourism enterprises and trainees, the event provided opportunities of market docking and helped both sides further explore cooperation opportunities.

3. The well-organized event displayed the tourism landscapes of Beijing. During the training, WTCF Secretariat made elaborate arrangements and had made thorough considerations, thus achieving multiple effects. The trainees stayed at Wangfujing Business District, which made it convenient for them to entertain themselves and go shopping; they visited Badaling Great Wall, the Palace Museum and Beijing’s city proper, gaining an overall view of tourism resources in Beijing; they also tasted Beijing’s local delicacies in Peking Eastern House and Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant.

4. A pool of training faculty is established to reserve professional lecturers. Through this training, we realize that the quality of the lecturers’ presentation and the richness of the courses are the key to the success of the training. WTCF Secretariat will fully tap into the resources of universities, research institutes, famous enterprises, and travel agencies to build up a rooster of training faculties and gather strength for trainings.

5. WTCF leaders attached great importance to the training event with various parties making concerted efforts. Song Yu (Secretary General of WTCF) was present at the training graduation ceremony and issued graduation certificates to the trainees. Li Baochun (Deputy Secretary General of WTCF) introduced the self-positioning, development trends, and services of WTCF by giving the trainees a lecture. The Department of Integrated Services of WTCF Secretariat led the training and was responsible for the planning, organization, lecturer invitation, contact, communication, and project implementation. The International Liaison Department provided support in contacting trainees, receiving trainees, and inviting enterprises. The Department of Public Relations and Brand Promotion set up a column at the WTCF website for continuous coverage of the training. During the training, the department updated self-media information promptly and promoted and covered training progress in real time. Besides, WTCF invited media agencies to have exchange with the trainees, thus wining the praise of the trainees.

6. WTCF further divided directions and fields and normalized its work. As an attempt of WTCF at conducting trainings, this training event only recruited trainees from WTCF’s international member cities and provided them with marketing and promotion courses. By exchanging with trainees and lecturers, we realize that the target audience should be further divided and given in-depth trainings in accordance with different groups and subjects. Moreover, WTCF Secretariat will make earlier plans and try to release the annual recruitment plans in advance so that member cities could have more time for budgeting and planning. Meanwhile, when the course system becomes mature, WTCF will incorporate training events into its annual normal work and hold training events regularly.

The trainees, who came from different countries and regions, bore the cost of international transportation and training courses. They were passionate, open-minded, earnest in study, and active in thinking. During the training, they showed wishes to have a deep understanding of the inheritance of Chinese culture and customs. They also expected to enhance their promotion and marketing abilities as soon as possible, have full access to China’s market, and attract more Chinese tourists to their cities. In the future, WTCF Secretariat will improve the operating mechanism of training programs, enrich contents and forms of these programs, make solid and effective progress, and try to achieve better results.

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