Publish Time：2024-01-29 19:32:01Source：WTCF
【Introduction】：Nearly 50 industrial delegates from more than 10 member cities including Madrid, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Seville, Mexico City, Turin, Bogota, Quito and Cartagena, as well as famous enterprises and media outlets such as the Chinese Tourism Group (CTG), PGS TOUR, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, China Travel Agent Media and Travel Marketing Watch attended the event.
The venue of the forum
On 24 January 2024, the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) held a forum themed "New Development of China's Inbound and Outbound Tourism Market" on the opening day of the 44th edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR). Nearly 50 industrial delegates from more than 10 member cities including Madrid, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Seville, Mexico City, Turin, Bogota, Quito and Cartagena, as well as famous enterprises and media outlets such as the Chinese Tourism Group (CTG), PGS TOUR, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, China Travel Agent Media and Travel Marketing Watch attended the event.
Yan Han, Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF
At the forum, Yan Han, Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, delivered a keynote speech on the state quo and prospects of China's inbound and outbound tourism market. Yan highlighted that in 2023, the Chinese government rolled out a series of new policies to promote a high level of opening-up in the inbound and outbound tourism sectors. For outbound tourism, the government gradually relaxed policies to resume international travel in an orderly manner. Regarding inbound tourism, China implemented more streamlined procedures to facilitate the applications for Chinese visas by foreign tourists. The statistics from the National Immigration Administration, Civil Aviation Administration of China, and various tourism organizations show that China's tourism market saw a rapid recovery and an overall positive trend in 2023. The steady recovery of both inbound and outbound sectors has enabled China to share with the rest of the world a prosperous tourism industry and its benefits. Yan also elaborated on China's updated entry and exit policies, as well as Beijing's hospitable attitude and elaborate services towards inbound tourists in entry, travel, accommodation, tourism, payment and other aspects.
Yan took the success of Beijing, Harbin and Zibo, three Internet-famous tourist destinations in China, as examples to indicate the significant advancement in both the scale and quality of China's domestic tourism market, and the domestic tourism economy characterized by robust supply and demand. Looking into 2024, Yan predicts a shift in the global tourism industry's focus from recovery to innovation. It is essential to address numerous emerging challenges through industrial innovation to bring the industry to new heights. In the future, the technological, cultural, sustainable and consumption-based features of tourism will become more prominent. Under this new trend, vigorous growth will be witnessed in China's tourism market and demand. The strong willingness of Chinese tourists toward outbound travel is expected to be well maintained. Meanwhile, the Chinese government plans to implement diverse inbound tourism policies, strengthen the promotion in overseas markets, continually optimize visa and customs clearance policies, and offer personalized tourism services for international tourists to enhance their experiences and satisfaction levels. These efforts aim to promote the high-quality development in the country's tourism industry under a policy of high-level openness.
Yan introduced the 144-hour free transit visa policy, displayed souvenirs from Beijing's time-honored enterprises like Tong Ren Tang (TRT), and marketed Beijing's tourism resources and historical and cultural heritage through multiple channels. The goal is to enhance the visibility and international competitiveness of Beijing's inbound tourism market.
During the roundtable discussion, centered on the theme of the forum, three panelists shared insights into the development of inbound and outbound tourism sectors, along with strategies for attracting Chinese tourists and exploring the Chinese market. Jorge Lausin, Director of Marketing of PGS TOUR appreciated China's expanding opening-up and high-quality services of tourism, and expressed the intent of popularizing new tourism products to improve both the quality and quantity of tourism services to attract Chinese tourists. Fernando Amer, Director of Promotion and Communication of Visit Buenos Aires hoped to see more flights between Argentina and China as well as more convenient tourism and mobile payments. Zhang Zhuying, Director, European & Latin-American Market, Inbound Travel Department of CTG Travel Services Corporation Limited summed up three characteristics of the Chinese mainland's post-pandemic inbound tourism: first, Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong and Macao SARs are still the major tourist sources; second, business travel has recovered more quickly than sightseeing travel; and third the share of customized travel has increased significantly. Zhang told that CTG will further advance product innovation and service upgrading, implement the "bringing in + going out" advertisement and promotion model, and introduce and cultivate more tourism professionals. In terms of the development of the global tourism in the future, all participating guests agreed on the necessity to strengthen government-enterprise communication and cooperation, promote regional connectivity and constantly boost the post-pandemic recovery of the global tourism business.
On the forum, the UN Tourism (formerly known as the UNWTO) made its debut under the new name. Lorena Villar Adela, a Senior Project Specialist of Tourism Market Intelligence & Competitiveness at UN Tourism, briefed on the forthcoming study Quantifying Tourism in City Destinations: Towards a Better Understanding of Urban Tourism. The research report jointly completed by WTCF and UN Tourism explores new data sources and indicators, aiming to establish and maintain possible modes of global city tourism databases from the aspects of the current status of city tourism data, application of big data in urban planning, challenges faced by city destinations, analysis of the most common indicators of the city destinations, and considerations on global city tourism databases. Both organizations aim to advance intelligent research of the tourism cities around the world.
WTCF has long played a vital role as an international tourism organization, established extensive connections and cooperative relations with various countries, regions and cities worldwide, and actively promoted the thriving development of China's inbound tourism industry. This year's FITUR was attended by 9,000 companies and 806 other exhibitors from 152 countries, with a diverse variety of cross-field professional exhibition zones during the fair. This highly internationalized, digital and professional fair strives to boost the sustainable development of the global tourism industry.
FITUR, as the world's largest tourism fair with a focus on Spanish-speaking countries, serves as a significant global platform for tourism professionals and industrial leaders. It is a major trade fair for the inbound and outbound markets in the Iberian Peninsula and two Americas as well, exerting a strong influence in the Western European and Latin American countries.
WTCF, initiated by Beijing, is the first international tourism organization focusing on cities. Since its founding in 2012, it has now grown to include 245 members from 86 countries and regions globally. Adhering to the concept of "Better City Life through Tourism", the WTCF facilitates the sustainable development of the global tourism industry and its members by establishing a variety of platforms for industrial exchange and cooperation. In 2020, the WTCF hosted a forum themed "Chinese Outbound Market to Latin America" forum during FITUR that year, receiving warm welcome and enthusiastic responses from participants.