2013 Work Report of the Council of the World Tourism Cities Federation

Publish Time:2013-11-14 08:00:00Source:wtcf.travel

【Introduction】:The World Tourism Cities Federation (hereinafter referred to as the WTCF) has now completed its first year since it was founded in September, 2012.

Secretary-General, World Tourism Cities Federation

September 12th, 2013

The World Tourism Cities Federation (hereinafter referred to as the WTCF) has now completed its first year since it was founded in September, 2012. Today, we once again gathered in Beijing to recall the founding of the WTCF, discuss its current development and share our vision for its future.

1. A review of the 2012 meeting

On September 15th, 2012, the Inaugural Meeting of the WTCF and the First Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit opened in Beijing. At this meeting, the Statute of the World Tourism Cities Federation and other documents, as well as the emblem, flag and markers of the federation were reviewed and approved; the Beijing Declaration was signed; and the consensus on the development of the WTCF in the new historical environment was reached. At the meeting, the "2012 World Tourism Cities Expo", "World Tourism Cities Food Festival" and "World Tourism Cities Film Expo" were held to showcase the distinctive culture of world tourism cities.

The establishment of the WTCF was positively received by the world’s top three tourism organizations—UNWTO, WTTC and PATA, and attracted extensive coverage and support of international media.

2. The work of the WTCF in the past year

The following work has been carried out during the first year of the WTCF.

Firstly, the organization has expanded in size.

The launch of the WTCF has attracted the attention and support of many tourism cities and institutions. Currently, the WTCF has 107 formal members, 49 more than that when the organization was established. Among these members, there are 68 city members, 21 members more than that at the beginning; and 39 non-city members, 28 members more than that at the beginning.

Secondly, the international status of the organization has been greatly improved. On May 8th, 2013, Chairman Wang Anshun led a WTCF delegation on a visit to the UN headquarters and met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The WTCF and the United Nations International Environment and Health Organization signed an agreement of strategic partnership, and co-hosted a working luncheon on “Sustainable Urban Development and Tourism". Chairman Wang Anshun and UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson both spoke at the meeting. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his support for the federation, and applauded the international status, principles and vision of the WTCF.

Thirdly, four WTCF service institutions have been created.

On June 25th, 2013, the Expert Committee of the WTCF was established. The committee, comprised of 15 famous international experts, aims to provide intellectual support to the WTCF, build a platform for academic exchange and information sharing among member cities, and boost the development of world tourism cities through academic research activities. At the same time, also launched were the Committee of Civil Aviation, the Committee of Tourism-related Businesses and the Committee of Media Organizations. The three committees are the subsidiary institutions of the WTCF and the forums for consultation and cooperation in the relevant industries. The creation of these four institutions will help the WTCF in achieving an effective integration of tourism factors, and improve the WTCF’s ability to serve its members.

Fourthly, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant partners.

To make sure that everything will be finished smoothly, further strengthen cooperation and to expand influence, the WTCF has signed an MOU on cooperation with Moscow of Russia, Busan of the Republic of Korea and Riga of Latvia, and the cooperation agreement with Athens of Greece is also expected to be signed very soon.

Fifthly, we are starting to build the World Tourism Cities Experience Center.

The World Tourism Cities Experience Center will include two parts, the Beijing International Tourism Center (WTCF Headquarters Building) and the World Tourism Cities Experience Center Park. We aim to build the Experience Center into a core tourism function zone with such multiple functions as tourism exhibition, experience, and tourism product trading and promotion. The headquarters building of the WTCF mainly has the following functions: hosting the Beijing office of world tourism cities and tourism institutions; holding tourism exhibitions and trade fairs; organizing tourism-related employees’ training and academic research programs; hosting the Secretariat, Expert Committee, and the three sub-committees of the WTCF; and holding summits, academic meetings and so on.

The World Tourism Cities Experience Center will use three-dimensional animations, digital holography, stereographic projection and other modern technologies to display the resources of member cities, so that tourists will be able to explore the tourism resources of the world tourism cities not only with their eyes, but also with their ears, noses and other senses.

The World Tourism Cities Experience Center will also carry such functions as delivering public services, facilitating tourism trade, organizing tourism exhibitions and experience programs, and promoting international exchanges. It will be built into a place where the international tourism institutions gather and trade, and a place where travel information and facilitation services are offered to world tourists. This is a place where our members can promote their tourism resources, and a functional area for tourism trade, promotion, marketing, exhibition and cultural performance. We hope all the Council members will make full use of this platform.

Sixthly, we have improved the working mechanism of the Secretariat.

From January 21st of this year, the basic deposit account of the WTCF has been put into use. Currently, it can accept fund contributions from city governments and private sources, member donations and others. The WTCF’s financial, audit, accounting and other regulations have been drafted. You will receive the draft documents after the meeting. Please send your feedback to the Secretariat in no later than two weeks.

We have improved the working mechanism of the Secretariat, and established closer contact with the Council members. In the preparation for the Summit and the Council meeting, we have received the support of the Beijing Municipal Government, the members of the Council and all the WTCF members. I thank you all.

3. The priorities of the Secretariat in 2014.

Firstly, we will continue to admit new members and promote exchanges among existing members.

The WTCF is a family for all of us. We kindly ask our Council members to recommend qualified tourism cities and related institutions to join the WTCF, and work with us to bring in new members to the federation.

The secretariat will arrange more research and communication opportunities for our members, and encourage the members to hold small-group seminars, where practical issues will be discussed. At the same time, the Secretariat will seek more financial supports for the federation, oversee the implementation of the MOU signed by the member cities and the WTCF, and visit member cities to offer advices on tourism development and help them with tourism promotion. We will strengthen the building of information network, and endeavor to achieve the goal of "sharing resources, combining strengths and delivering win-win results" through our own publications and other means. We will provide consulting services for our members, organize expert teams to assess their tourism resources, and support them in formulating tourism development plans.

Secondly, we will further leverage the role of the four committees in supporting member cities.

We will promote win-win cooperation between the four committees and tourism cities toward the goal of Better City Life through Tourism. The four committees are important supporting units of the WTCF, and a secretariat agency has been set up in all the four committees. We hope that our members can strengthen contact with the four committees, make full use of the preferential conditions provided by them, and create conditions for their own development at the same time.

The Beijing Municipal Government has given strong support to the work of the Secretariat over the past year. Air China and other institutional members of the Council have provided discount airfare as well as arrival and departure assistance for the participants of this year’s Summit. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the supports they have provided for the work of the WTCF. At the meeting, I also want to share with you a piece of good news–the Beijing Municipal Government has provided a new premise for the office of the WTCF Secretariat, which some of you may have already visited. We welcome all of you to come and visit your new "home".

Currently, the Secretariat is actively exploring ways to deepen cooperation with our partners, sponsors and suppliers. We hope the Council members will actively contribute your thoughts and suggestions for this purpose. The WTCF has set up its bank account to accept member donations and funding support from the society. We welcome the Council members to continue to support the development of the WTCF.

The Secretariat also needs the support of Council members on human resources. At present, the Secretariat is recruiting administrative and working staff with experience in international organizations, inter-city exchanges and tourism-related jobs. We hope the city and non-city members can recommend candidates to work in the Secretariat either as volunteers or in other capacities.

Thirdly, we will speed up the building of the World Tourism Cities Experience Center.

At present, the construction of the World Tourism Cities Experience Center is smoothly underway, and the first phase of the project is largely completed. I think you will all have an opportunity to visit the center tonight. Specially made for tourism cities and enterprises, it is a world tourism cities communication center, an interactive experience center, a business trade center and a media marketing center with functions ranging from exhibitions, professional meetings, summit forums, headquarters offices, tourism trade to leisure and entertainment. We welcome our member cities to keep in close touch with the Secretariat, provide the required materials, and make good use of the experience center for the promotion of your cities.

At the same time, we welcome our city members to apply for hosting the WTCF Council Meeting and Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit in 2015. It will take the Secretariat one year to consider and study the applications, and come up with a list of candidate hosts for the 2015 meeting. The list will be submitted to the Council meeting in 2014 for a decision.

Fellow Council members, to promote the exchanges and cooperation between WTCF members and the sustainable development of world tourism cities are a long and arduous task. We are confident that under the leadership of the WTCF and with the joint efforts of all the staff of the Secretariat and the WTCF members, we can develop the WTCF Beijing Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit into the "Davos" of world tourism.

Thank you!

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