Song Yu: Innovating the development model of tourism cities and promoting the globalization of world tourism

Publish Time:2019-09-04 01:10:34Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:On September 3, the 2019 World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Helsinki Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland.

Song Yu, Secretary-General of the WTCF, delivered a keynote speech

On September 3, the 2019 World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Helsinki Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland. The theme of this summit was “Smart Tourism – Road to City Innovation and Development.” After the opening ceremony, Song Yu, Secretary-General of the WTCF, delivered a keynote speech on promoting innovative development of world tourism cities.

Song Yu first talked about the important role of tourism cities in the development of world tourism. He pointed out that tourism cities are not only the main destinations of tourists aroundthe world, but they are also the main distribution centers and sources of world tourism. In recent years, the contributions of tourism cities to world tourism have continued to increase. According to the “Report on Development of World Tourism Cities 2018,” the total tourism GDP of the 100 cities surveyed reached US$798.3 billion in 2017, accounting for 60% of the total global GDP generated by outbound travel. The tourism sector also created 74.7% of the jobs in the service industry in the 100 cities surveyed. For the top 10 and top 50 cities, the jobs created by the tourism sector accounted for 82.8% and 82.2% respectively. In this regard, Song Yu believes “tourism cities have become the core carrier of world tourism development and have played an important role in promoting global economic growth.”

With the extensive use of mobile internet technology, new travel modes – such as free travel, customized travel, and family travel – are emerging one after another, posing new challenges to the traditional travel service, management, and marketing models. According to the UN World Tourism Organization analysis, one fourth of the tourism products provided by the world’s major tourist destinations are now ordered via the internet, and e-commerce transactions have exceeded 30% in global tourism transactions. With the expanded application of new-generation information technologies such as 5G and 8K, smart tourism will embrace even greater opportunities. More major tourist cities around the world have also identified smart tourism as a strategic goal for future development. In the global process of smart tourism development, two main models, based on government investment and public resources, have been formed. However, on the whole, the development of smart tourism in the world is still at the stage of localized, decentralized and individualized exploration. Systematic, globalized and standardized development has not yet taken shape. Accelerating the creation of information infrastructure and public service platforms at the global level, improving the global capacity of IT applications, and transforming the development focus of smart tourism from individual scenic spots and cities to the integration of different regions and cities, are the key tasks of innovative development of world tourism cities.

Song Yu said the fundamental purpose of the development of smart tourism cities is to provide efficient, smart, and people-friendly services for urban residents, improving their travel experiences. He suggests that tourism cities should conduct in-depth research on major issues of world tourism, actively adopt modern technologies such as Internet, big data and artificial intelligence, constantly improve the performance of city governance and services, support the innovative development of a shared economy, customize tourism, embrace new forms of tourism, and continue to provide innovative products that contribute to world tourism development. Cities should take advantage of the role of online tourism in resource integration; take effective steps to prevent over-tourism from affecting people’s lives, and build smart tourism cities into core vehicles for promoting world tourism development. He said that the theme of the 2019 Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit focused on smart tourism to share the typical practices of the world's tourism cities, to discuss the effective measures of the world's tourism cities in terms of innovation and development, and finally to achieve a win-win situation in jointly promoting the sustainable development of the world tourism industry.

Song Yu said at the end of his keynote speech: "As the world's first global international tourism organization focusing on cities, WTCF will actively establish and promote typical cases of smart tourism cities in the world, and introduce a set of cases on the development of smart tourism cities in a coordinated way, so as to inspire tourism cities to build smart cities based on their distinctive features. WTCF will also enhance the comprehensive service capacity in an all-round way, leveraging the organizational strength, actively promoting cooperation and exchanges between city and institutional members, exploring the models of more convenient and efficient tourism services, and constantly raising the contribution and influence of tourism cities to world tourism.”

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