World Tourism Cities Beijing Fragrant Hills Summit

Publish Time:2012-09-20

【Introduction】:City leaders from across the globe came together and exchanged tourism and urban development ideas at the first World Tourism Cities Beijing Fragrant Hills Summit.

City leaders from across the globe came together and exchanged tourism and urban development ideas at the first World Tourism Cities Beijing Fragrant Hills Summit.?

Member representatives, experts and scholars, tourism enterprises and organization representatives attended the summit and exchanged views on the themes: "the tourism industry and urban development" and "exchanges and cooperation between tourism cities". The summit, held at the Beijing National Convention Center on September 15, was divided into a main forum and two zones for exchanges.

Deputy Mayor of Beijing Ding Xiangyang, the Mayor of Dublin, Ireland; the Mayor of Riga, Latvia; and the United States International Travel Company president, all gave speeches at the main forum.

Ding pointed out that Beijing opened a new chapter in terms of its development and has the long-term task of building itself into a world-class city, with Chinese characteristics in front, during his keynote speech. Ding said.for Beijing to become a world-class city with Chinese characteristics, the most important thing is to enhance the quality of development, improve urban functions, improve the living standards, play a more important role in the world's urban system, and better serve the country's development.

Each industry in Beijing has to make plans and measure the industry’s development while keeping in mind Beijing’s goal. Beijing tourism, with a good development foundation, will make efforts to promote reform and innovation, and further enhance the development vitality of the tourism industry with becoming a world tourism city as the target.

Ding said with "structural adjustment, strong attraction and enhanced efficiency" as the main line and with "innovation, integration, optimization and upgrade" as the principle, we shall integrate tourism resources and tourism elements, optimize the tourism function space, enhance the city's comprehensive tourism service functions, and improve the international attractiveness and core competitiveness of Beijing tourism. Beijing must also achieve diversification of tourism resources, facilitation of tourism services, elaboration of tourism management, internationalization of the tourism market and play a motivational and exemplary role in the process.

Tourism is the most natural and most effective way to promote interaction and friendship between cities and residents. Many member cities of the World Tourism Cities Federation have become sister cities of Beijing, Ding said. The ties between cities have created a good platform for cities to exchange and engage in many areas such as economy, trade, culture and tourism.

The deputy mayor said he hoped to take the opportunity of having the WTCF headquarters in Beijing to further develop the relationship of mutual assistance, mutual benefit, and mutual trust with each member city and member organization. Beijing will, with an open and frank attitude, share its experience in development as a tourism city with other members, explore solutions for common problems faced by the member cities and organizations, carry out effective cooperation with the WTCF, and provide service and help for the development of the federation. Ding said he hoped tourism cities in the world would deepen their mutual understanding, expand consensus and enhance cooperation to create a more splendid future for all countries and regions in the world. He also hoped member cities would contribute to strengthening understanding and friendship between world cities and urban peoples and contribution to world peace and development.

At the two zone forums, many cities placed high hopes on the WTCF.

Sun Likun, Jiaozuo City mayor, said Jiaozuo will take away the good experiences and practices from other member cities at the summit and strive to build Jiaozuo into an internationally-renowned tourism city with international appeal, attractiveness, and build itself into a demonstration city of economic transformation in the central economic zone. Sun hoped Jiaozuo would make new and greater contributions to the rise of Central China and the revitalization of Henan's economy.

Liu Yingzi, Wuhan mayor, said the WTCF takes tourism as the impetus and is an innovative move in promoting better and faster urban development. Full play should be given to the role of WTCF in the development of Wuhan to achieve the target of "better tourism, better city life", realize cultural interaction, market the city and conduct a win-win cooperation. Mayor Liu Yingzi stressed international tourism marketing needs more cross-regional cooperation, in particular, cross-regional cooperation through the platform of the WTCF. Wuhan is looking forward to becoming a sister city with other tourism cities and to vigorously promote interregional cultural interaction, strengthen city marketing in an all-around way, and promote tourist-source interaction and market linking to ultimately achieve a win-win cooperation.

Harbin Deputy Mayor Qu Lei, said city tourism, which serves as a sunrise industry and a driving industry of the era, demonstrates the city's image, highlights the cultural individuality and improves people's living standards.

In this context, figuring out how to best promote the city’s charming brands, tap its cultural connotation, enhance its tourism quality, and boost urban economic development remains a problem that needs to be seriously considered and solved for each tourism city. The summit is bound to have a profound impact on the sustained and healthy development of city tourism. Harbin is looking forward to cooperating with those present at the summit based on wise ideas and thoughts and jointly promoting the city's economic and social development in a better and faster way.

The person in charge of the China Travel Service (CTS) Head Office said the office will put the agency's function as a bridge into full play and help tourism cities develop tourism and promote tourism enterprises to become bigger and stronger based on each city's advantages.

Li Liushen, Luoyang mayor, said Luoyang will take the opportunity of being chosen as one of the second batch of pilot cities for national tourism standardization and one of the first batch of smart tourism pilot cities to fully tap historical and cultural advantages, accelerate the integration of culture and tourism, actively promote construction of major cultural tourism projects, strengthen inter-regional tourism exchanges and cooperation through the WTCF platform. Luoyang will strive to build itself into an internationally-recognized cultural tourism city and one of the best tourist destination cities, making this ancient capital glow a brighter light and make tourists feel relaxed and happy while making city residents happy and satisfied.

Lin Kuanhai, Mudanjiang mayor, said Mudanjiang is willing to explore tourism development laws, share its experience in tourism development, strengthen tourism exchanges and cooperation, and create a better future for the world's tourist cities alongside the WTCF member cities.

Marcel Schneider, Chief Executive Officer of TUI, one of the non-city founding members of the WTCF, believes the first summit will provide an important stage for various associations supporting the development of city tourism and cooperation among fast-growing economic sectors. Modern tourism can make city life better and significantly improve the living standards of hundreds of thousands of people around the world, Schneider said.

Sun Bin, head of Altay City, Xinjiang, made suggestions on how to use the federation’s role: First, to establish a mechanism of publicity, promotion and cooperation; second, to establish a mechanism of exchange visits; third, to establish a mechanism of the development and exchange of tourism culture products.

Some city leaders noted in their speeches their own successes in developing tourism. Zhang Lijun, president of China CYTS Tours Holding Co., said in his speech titled, "Unite Hearts and Be Touched", a wonderful trip is not only an experience on the material plane but also enjoyment on the spiritual plane. CYTS's brand faith,"Unite Hearts and Be Touched," is reflected in customer service, hoping to achieve spiritual communication with customers, providing customers with touching services and creating emotional experiences and value for customers in providing travel services.

Professor Zhang Hui, of Beijing Communications University, and a research group leader, introduced current research results of the "World Tourism Cities Evaluation System" project. The "World Tourism Cities Evaluation System" project seeks to construct a platform for various tourism cities to observe and understand the development trends of tourism and learn from each other through interpretation of the concept of "World Tourism Cities", factor analysis and research on comprehensive evaluation systems. Zhang said the research conducted for this project helps promote exchanges and cooperation between the world tourism cities. The research is conducive to building a standardized system of tourism statistics and providing effective services to the tourism research work of member cities and non-members. It helps to identify comparative advantages of each city in the competitive international tourism market and helps each city to be aware of the gaps from other world tourism cities and provide a theoretical and decision-making basis for world tourism cities to develop in the future. Therefore, it is of theoretical and practical significance to build an evaluation system for world tourism cities.

Based on the views of domestic and foreign experts and some member cities, the research group carefully analyzed the development of tourism, economic and social development, and development performance of world tourism cities. It built a three-level evaluation system of "composite index, individual index, and characteristic index", after learning from and referring to ranking lists of internationally influential countries and cities. Similar to other indices, the composite index of world tourism cities, which combines tourism economic indicators, social indicators, and other related indicators, reveals the balance or imbalance between development of tourism and the overall environment of social and economic development. Evaluation results of different cities can reflect varied industrial depths and breadths of different tourist cities. The six individual indices are respectively tourism climate index, tourism development potential index, tourism attractiveness index, government supportiveness index, tourist satisfaction index, and networking popularity index.

The tourism climate index and network popularity index focus on a tourism city’s development status, including measurement of the level of industrial development and marketing performance. The tourist satisfaction index and tourist attraction index measure the relation between the development of the tourist city and tourists. The network popularity index and attractiveness index is the measurement before tourism activities take place. The tourist satisfaction index is the measurement after tourism activities end. The government supportiveness index and tourism development potential index are more concerned about the government's support of the tourism city and operation performance.

The Beijing Statistics Bureau introduced research results of the comprehensive evaluation index system for Beijing tourism. The subject, which meets the new requirements of the development of Beijing tourism, profoundly grasps the characteristics of tourism development, identifies the inherent law of development, analyzes development gaps, and will improve the level of scientific decision-making. The tourism development planning for the “12th Five-Year” period for the nation and Beijing is according to the principle of balancing speed, structure, quality and efficiency and coordinating resources, environment and society. The Beijing tourism monitoring and evaluation index system is constructed as an important basis for the comprehensive measurement and evaluation of tourism development and keeps in mind the objective of “diversification of tourism resources, facilitation of services, elaboration of management and internationalization of the market.” It is also based on theories related to the development of international tourism.

Beijing tourism has arrived at a new stage of rapid development, following the 2008 Olympic Games, with economic and social benefits of tourism developing side-by-side, according to preliminary analysis. It is important to continue to tap the potential and cultivate advantages in developing tourism. The research group recommends that for Beijing tourism to further develop it should enhance the driving capacity of tourism demand and further tap the human capital.

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