World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development Held a Themed Forum to Explore the New Normal of Tourism amid COVID-19

Publish Time:2020-09-07 14:59:21Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:On September 5, the World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development was held at the China National Convention Center. There were two themed forums.

Live from the "New Normal of Tourism amid COVID-19" Forum

On September 5, the World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development was held at the China National Convention Center. There were two themed forums. At the forum themed "New Normal of Tourism amid COVID-19", Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), delivered the keynote speech via a video-call. She said that over the past 30 years, the WTTC has conducted substantial research to measure the economic impact of tourism on 185 countries. The conclusion shows that tourism contributes 10% of the global GDP. "Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic situation has left a serious impact on the tourism industry. It is very important for us to take countermeasures to minimize losses and make every effort to work together against the pandemic."

In her speech, Gloria Guevara also mentioned that the WTTC will take a number of measures to boost the recovery of the industry, including active collaboration with partners, reopening borders, removing obstacles, paying attention to the travel experience of tourists, and formulating relevant regulations. The government will continue to provide support, including economic assistance, stimulus measures, funds liquidity and market promotion.

During the discussion section of the forum, Song Rui, WTCF Expert, Director of the Tourism Research Center, CASS; Luis Diego Monsalve, Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia to China; Tom Mehrmann, President and General Manager at Universal Beijing Resort; Yasuda Tsuyoshi, Chief Rept. of JTB Corp. Beijing Office; Gao Zhiquan, Vice President of China CYTS Tours Holding Co., Ltd.; Shu Zhan, Director of Tencent Culture & Tourism Research Institute; and other guests engaged in interesting exchanges. They focused on how to establish coordination mechanism for emergency rescue, travel safety, information disclosure, and information security; how to enhance the risk resilience of tourist destinations and tourism enterprises; how to reshape the core competitiveness of tourism enterprises to adapt to the new normal of the tourism industry amongst other issues.

From a national perspective, many countries have introduced measures to deal with the pandemic, and this has boosted the recovery of the tourism industry. Luis Diego Monsalve believes that the global pandemic will ease and the development of Latin America regions will improve. "At present, Colombia has also done a lot of work to deal with the pandemic. For example, we have a lot of biosafety guidelines. We are also starting to use biosafety seals. The overall situation is good." Many technical solutions are used in Colombia to encourage innovative tourism methods such as rural tourism, outdoor tourism, and eco-tourism. For the Japanese tourism market, there is a gradual recovery trend among tourists who participate in short-distance travel. Yasuda Tsuyoshi said that the Japanese government launched "Go to Travel" in July and "Go to Eat" will be launched in September. We look forward to taking these policies as an opportunity to drive domestic tourism. "As for the recovery of outbound tourism in Japan, we still need to observe the situation. We look forward to the completion of the vaccine research and development, and for the relevant treatment methods to be determined. We hope that the market will return to normal by next year."

From an industry perspective, Tom Mehrmann said that a good partnership is very important. China is now the safest country in the world. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, China took a pragmatic and responsible approach to restart the tourism economy. Especially in Beijing, we have a good cooperation with the government, which allows our project to be restored in an orderly and safe manner and achieve substantive progress. "We pay special attention to virus detection and put in place strict prevention and control measures. Embracing the new normal of pandemic prevention and control is very important for the opening of the world's largest theme park - Beijing Universal Resort - next year." Gao Zhiquan, Vice President of China CYTS Tours Holding Co., Ltd. also said that "being preventable, controllable, predictable and traceable" is the crux of organized travel. At present, to meet the travel needs of consumers, organized travel may become a norm, at least so before the prevention and control measures are lifted. Shu Zhan believes that although the pandemic has brought great changes, it has also accelerated the digitization process of the entire industry. It is specifically manifested by "cloud tourism", "cloud live broadcast", "cloud exhibition viewing" and so on. "Everyone is developing a way of 'cloud' for tourism exchanges, tourism business activities, and tourism experience. This trend will exist for a long time. However, online and offline needs to integrate, bring out some new experiences or new models."

Tourism destinations and tourism companies should enhance their risk resilience and reshape their core competitiveness to adapt to the new normal of the tourism industry. As Gloria Guevara said, the simultaneous implementation of various measures will help the recovery of the industry, regulate the global tourism industry, enhance travel experience, and restore the confidence of travelers.

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