Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Cities Federation: Strengthening International Cooperation to Promote Global Tourism Recovery

Publish Time:2020-09-04 21:21:08Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:In an interview prior to the conference, Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, stated that it is quite important to strengthen international cooperation and gather international forces in order to promote the recovery of the global tourism industry amid COVID-19.

2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (hereinafter referred to as the "CIFTIS") will be held in Beijing, and more than 700 domestic and foreign exhibitors will participate either online or offline. World Tourism Cities Federation (hereinafter referred to as the "WTCF") will host the World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development during CIFTIS, with the theme of "Rebuilding World Tourism for Prosperity". Through the exchange of ideas and sharing of opinions, future perspectives on the global tourism industry will be given, while promoting recovery of the industry. In an interview prior to the conference, Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, stated that it is quite important to strengthen international cooperation and gather international forces in order to promote the recovery of the global tourism industry amid COVID-19.

Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of World Tourism Cities Federation, is being interviewed Photo by Chen Mengnan

The global pandemic of the COVID-19 has left huge impact on the world tourism and even the global economy. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, international tourism revenue (i.e. international tourist consumption) will drop by 910 billion USD to 1.2 trillion USD this year, which will make the global tourism industry retrogress for 20 years. How to restore and boost confidence of tourism industry as soon as possible based on the prevention and control of the epidemic has become a major issue and great concern to governments, tourism industry and international organizations. In this regard, Li Baochun said that as the world's first city-based global international tourism organization, WTCF has taken a number of initiatives to help member cities to cope with the impact of the epidemic and promote the recovery of urban tourism. Firstly, WTCF has strengthened cooperation with other international organizations, cooperated with the governments of various countries in the prevention and control of the epidemic, gathering international forces to promote tourism recovery. Secondly, focusing on the theme of how to resume work and production as soon as possible amid COVID-19, WTCF has also held a number of online forums, providing platforms for members to exchange experience. The Latin American Regional Online Tourism Forum is an example of this, and WTCF plans to promote such form of online forums to Europe. In addition, WTCF has decided to waive the 2020 membership dues for all members, in order to help member units overcome the current difficulties. In the meantime, WTCF plans to carry out one-to-one two-way communication with member units, providing targeted anti-epidemic experience for member units. Under the positive influence of WTCF, many member units have also actively participated in the anti-epidemic campaign. Chinese tourism companies such as Ctrip and U-tour have been contributing their ideas and devoting themselves to social relief.

The conference to be held on September 5th is the only conference held by international organizations during 2020 CIFTIS. Li Baochun believes that the holding of conference is of great significance to the recovery of the global tourism industry. He said that the revival of the tourism industry is particularly important at this time in the face of the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry and the public’s eagerness for travel. WTCF invited the United Nations World Tourism Organization as a cooperative unit, and 10 international organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council, and top tourism exhibition organizers as co-organizers. It is to give full play to the role of WTCF as an international platform, strengthen multilateral cooperation, rebuild world tourism, and jointly promote the world tourism industry to recreate prosperity.

In response to the epidemic, WTCF will also adopt a new model of integrating online and offline exhibition for the first time during 2020 CIFTIS, setting up a stand in the comprehensive venue on the first floor of the China National Convention Center. Regarding to the products and services WTCF will bring to the audience, Li Baochun said, "WTCF will focus on showcasing the growth history and key campaigns since its establishment, such as the Helsinki Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit and regional forums. It will also present research results that have guiding significance for the development of global tourism such as the Annual Report on Development of World Tourism Cities and the Report on World Tourism Economy Trends. The research results will be brought to the exhibition. We will promote high-quality characteristic resources of member cities of WTCF, and use AR/VR and other scientific and technological means to display the charm of our member cities, and provide immersive and interactive experience for the audience." Li Baochun said that from the provision of digital tourism solutions to big data support for city development, WTCF has grasped the development trend of tourism in recent years to provide better services for its member units. During 2020 CIFTIS, WTCF built a cloud booth for its member units, providing an online exhibition platform to accelerate the effective integration and symbiotic development of "Culture, Tourism, Science and Technology" in global tourism cities, and implementing the core vision of Better City Life through Tourism with practical actions.

Since its establishment in 2012, membership of WTCF has grown to 223, including 148 city members, 75 institutional members and 6 branches, covering 75 countries and regions around the world. Now WTCF is regarded as the fastest-growing international tourism organization. Li Baochun said that through this exhibition, WTCF will create more opportunities for win-win cooperation and help build the community of common destiny through "tourism". After the conference, WTCF will further promote cooperation among its members. Differentiating from the previous cooperation of destination protection, resource sharing and mutual missions, the Federation will vigorously promote the exchange of information, establish a sound emergency response system, public operation system and resource protection system. Experience will be collected from all over the world in dealing with the epidemic, WTCF aims to integrate these valuable experiences into member services, in order to provide a platform for various regions to exchange information.

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