WTCF Appears at the 2020 CIFTIS in an Innovative Way

Braving Waves to Revitalize the Industry

Publish Time:2020-09-08 13:47:52Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the world’s first international urban tourism organization, for the first time, presented itself at CIFTIS in a new model of online-offline integration.

On Sep. 4th, the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) kicked off at the China National Convention Center in Beijing. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the world’s first international urban tourism organization, for the first time, presented itself at CIFTIS in a new model of online-offline integration where it offered the audience a visual “Technology + Cultural Tourism” feast featuring new technology, new models, and a new experience.

The booth of the WTCF, numbered E3-8-01, was located at the comprehensive exhibition area on the ground floor of the China National Convention Center. The overall appearance of the booth was in the shape of a "sailboat", symbolizing the WTCF’s confidence in the rapid recovery of the global tourism industry amid the pandemic. The color used in the main structure of the booth was aquamarine blue, the symbolic color of WTCF.

This booth adopted AR (augmented reality), holographic imaging, and other technical means to display the history and significant academic research of the WTCF. In the booth, the premium and unique resources of the WTCF members were also highlighted, including previous Fragrant Hills Tourism Summits, and the stunning landscapes of the member cities are showcased. Here, one could also engage in a humanistic interactive experience as well. In addition, the WTCF presented achievements obtained ever since its foundation in promoting exchanges among global cities of various countries, member cooperation as well as investment and financing development in international tourism.

"Integrating the exhibition with science and technology" was one of the major features of this year’s CIFTIS. What sparks will it ignite when science and technology meet with tourism and culture? On September 5th, H.E. Manasa Tagicakibau, Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji Islands to China, H.E. John Aquilina, Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to China, Tom Simpson, CBBC's Managing Director for China, etc., visited the booth and experienced it themselves.

On the display wall of city members in the center of the booth, nearly a hundred pictures of the world's most famous cities were shown. These cities were selected from the 148 city members of the WTCF around the world. After downloading and opening the "WTCF AR" mobile phone App, one could scan the pictures with the App to have a virtual tour, feel the beauty of the streets in each member city, and travel around the world without leaving home. Staff at the booth presented the urban scenery of Valletta, the capital of Malta, to the audience through technology.

H.E. John Aquilina, Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to China exclaimed “What a marvelous experience! The sun and ocean showed on the screen make me feel as if I’m back in Malta.” Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Maltese government has followed the advice of the World Health Organization, taken proactive responses and quarantine measures. Malta has suspended schools and airports in an orderly manner. By early May, the epidemic in Malta had been well controlled, and the Malta International Airport was opened to the public in July. John Aquilina mentioned that after the outbreak of the epidemic in Europe, Malta was one of the first countries to close its borders. Malta not only adopted strict quarantine measures but also learned a lot from China’s anti-epidemic experience. So, it was delighted to see that the epidemic has not affected Malta greatly. Currently, Malta is one of the safest countries in the world, and tourists from all over the world can be assured to visit the island nation for a pleasant journey.

In addition, John Aquilina believes that the exhibition area for Malta set up by the WTCF provides global tourists a platform to learn about Malta. “I believe that more tourists will come to Malta for its beauty after experiencing such a wonderful 3D display of the country. We will definitely be able to overcome the impact of the pandemic and resume travels between China and Malta." John Aquilina introduced that the Maltese government established an office dedicated to the Chinese tourism market and will further leverage the power of the Malta Chinese Cultural Center to carry out various cultural activities, strengthening communication between the Maltese and Chinese tourism markets, and preparing well for the recovery of the tourism industry.

H.E. John Aquilina U.O.M, Maltese Ambassador to China, in an interview Photographer Qu Yi

Nadi, the third largest city of Fiji, is a city member of the WTCF. By scanning the "Happy Fiji" picture, one can not only enjoy the scenery of Fiji but also play to experience the indigenous culture of Fiji. Here, one can visually experience the "face-blacking" makeup that represents the traditional culture of Fiji, and by a wave of the hand, one can quickly "switch makeup".

The photos taken in the makeup application can also be printed directly and kept as a souvenir. H.E. Manasa Tagicakibau, Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji Islands to China, highly praised this new promotion model used by the WTCF. He believes that technology has brought people from all over the world closer, and no distance can keep friends afar. “In this way, we are able to engage in a variety of offline activities and communicate online. Even if we can't meet each other face-to-face, technology can always keep people in close contact."

In recent years, China and Fiji have supported each other and developed together. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Fiji, both sides have extended active dialogues on how to resume the development of their own tourism industries. Taking the aviation industry as an example, the Fijian government is planning direct flights between Guangzhou and Fiji to promote cultural and trade exchanges between the two countries.

H.E. Manasa Tagicakibau(left), Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji Islands to China Visited the Booth of the WTCF Photographer Qu Yi

Tom Simpson, CBBC's Managing Director of China, after visiting the exhibition booth, commented that the WTCF is of great value to the United Kingdom, for its platform enables more people to explore each city’s unique beauty.

Tom Simpson, CBBC's Managing Director of China in an interview Photographer Chen Mengnan

Amid the global pandemic, to follow the developmental trend of the exhibition industry -- “from physical to virtual, from offline to online”, the WTCF adopts a new exhibition model of "online and offline integration". In the “virtual exhibition hall”, the WTCF specially sets virtual booths, an online platform, for its 100 member cities including Edinburgh, Brussels, and Barcelona. Here, high-quality and unique resources of the member cities are presented, and resources are further shared among tourism cities, moreover, audiences who are not able to be onsite can also appreciate the exhibition on the "cloud".

It is learnt that from the digital tourism solutions to big data support for urban development, the WTCF in recent years has grasped the developmental trend of the tourism industry and actively tried utilizing 5G, big data, artificial intelligence, etc. to provide more premium services to its members.

In addition to holding exhibitions with online and offline integration, the WTCF also hosts the World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development with the theme of "Rebuilding World Tourism for Prosperity" during the 2020 CIFTIS. This conference, through view exchanges among industry professionals, a release of research findings, and conferences for investment and financing, passes the voice of the global travel industry to the world.

Established in 2012 under Beijing’s initiative, the WTCF is the world’s first international urban tourism organization. It adheres to the core vision of Better City Life through Tourism and serves as a platform for members to exchange experience, to strengthen cooperation, and to build consensus. At present, the number of members of the WTCF has grown from the initial 58 to the current 223, covering 75 countries and regions around the world. The WTCF is credited as the fastest-growing international tourism organization in the world.

Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, said in an interview with the media that through this exhibition, the WTCF will create more opportunities for win-win cooperation and help build a community with a shared future for mankind through tourism. After the conference, the WTCF will further promote cooperation among members and informational exchange. It will also establish systems related to public operations, emergency response, and resource assurance. The organization strives to take lessons from global responses to the pandemic , and provide a platform for exchanges among regions by integrating all experiences, challenges and successes, in open view to support members.

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