On June 14, the Third WTA Member’s Day in 2019, with the theme of “Sharing Tourism and Rural Revitalization”, was successfully held in Guilin, Guangxi, China. The event was attended and addressed by Liu Shijun, Secretary General of the WTA, Gan Lin, Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and An Li, Airbnb Vice-President for Chinese Public Policy. Also participating in the event were more than 80 representatives from nearly 30 member entities including culture and tourism departments from some Chinese provinces , autonomous regions and municipalities, Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, World Tourism Cities Federation, China Association of Travel Services, China Tourist Attraction Association, Meituan Travel, Hubei Culture & Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd., and Guilin Tourism University. The event was hosted by the WTA and co-organized by Airbnb, a member of WTA.
In his speech, Liu Shijun pointed out that sharing economy is a fast-growing part of the tourism sector, which has expanded from urban to rural areas, adding more possibilities for poverty alleviation through tourism. In this context, different regions are encouraged to adapt to local conditions and adopt people-oriented approach to enhance the sustainability of poverty alleviation through tourism. In the meantime, local culture and traditions should be protected, passed on and vitalized. More importantly, it is necessary to build up talent teams, and combine poverty alleviation with the efforts to elevate the educational level of the people, thus promoting common prosperity among rural residents.
Gan Lin warmly welcomed the WTA to hold the Member’s Day in Guilin, and introduced the rich ethnic, cultural and natural resources of Guangxi to the guests. He looked forward to more extensive and in-depth cooperation with the WTA, so as to make tourists from all over the world enjoy the beauty of Guangxi.
According to An Li, Airbnb will build an ecosystem to replicate and promote the experiences of the Guilin model across China. The aim is to promote the “sharing economy + in-depth experience” model to better support China’s rural revitalization strategy. “I hope to invite more partners to join us to make more poverty alleviation and rural revitalization projects flourish in China”, said An Li.
During the event, Bao Jigang, professor of Sun Yat-sen University, shared his idea on the theme of “Time, Space and Community Participation as well as Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism”. Zhong Yiming, Director of China Cultural and Tourism Policy of Airbnb, shared the experiences in the poverty alleviation project through rural tourism in Longsheng, Guilin. Wu Jianfen from Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism conducted an in-depth analysis on the topic of “Homestay Industry Supporting Rural Areas”. The participating guests shared their experiences in poverty alleviation with real-life cases, adding an enlightening touch to the solution of targeted poverty alleviation through tourism.