Theme：WTA Members’ Day • Lijiang
Date：May 25-27, 2023
Lijiang, Yunnan Province – The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) held its “WTA Members’ Day • Lijiang” on May 25th. The event was organized by WTA, co-hosted by the Lijiang Municipal People’s Government and Beijing Qiongyou Tianxia Technology Co., Ltd., and implemented by the Lijiang Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism and Roca Cultural Tourism. Distinguished attendees including Liu Shijun, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the WTA, Bai Sizuo, Deputy Inspector of the Department of Resource Development of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Pu Hong, Secretary of the Lijiang Municipal Party Committee, Rao Xiangbi, Party Group Member and Deputy Director of the Yunnan Provincial Culture and Tourism Department gave speeches to the audience, other guests include Henri Giscard d’Estaing and Xu Peng, Vice Chair of WTA, and other representatives from the WTA, domestic cultural and tourism administrations, enterprises, associations, as well as news and media outlets.
Liu Shijun, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the World Tourism Alliance
Liu Shijun, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the WTA, explored in his keynote address how high-quality development of cultural tourism can facilitate shared prosperity. He proposed three approaches: (1) promoting balanced urban and rural development by directing resources towards rural and less developed areas, fostering a consciousness of shared prosperity and self-reliance; (2) undertaking supply-side reforms to enhance public cultural service efficacy, expand the coverage of cultural tourism services, and comprehensively drive the renovation of facilities, technology, and policy; (3) sharing the Chinese experience of shared prosperity through international channels. WTA, he promised, will continue to explore effective pathways for high-quality cultural tourism development to contribute to shared prosperity worldwide.
Pu Hong, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Lijiang, Yunnan Province
Pu Hong, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Lijiang, Yunnan Province, shared her insights on three aspects of rural tourism development in Lijiang: preserving its unique, rustic charm; fostering community engagement for shared benefits across the entire industry chain; and enriching the tourism experience through innovative products. Lijiang, leveraging its world-renowned and unparalleled pastoral beauty, aims to create tourism products imbued with a strong sense of nostalgia and is actively exploring an operating model that enables villagers to become stakeholders benefitting from mutual promotion of tourism and rural development.
Bai Sizuo, Deputy Inspector of the Department of Resource Development of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism
The Deputy Inspector of the Department of Resource Development of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Bai Sizuo, underscored the crucial role of rural tourism in the rejuvenation of rural areas. According to him, it’s vital to make use of unique local resources, apply technological advancements to agriculture, and promote new local business models like rural tourism and recreational farming to foster robust rural development. He further suggested focusing on shared prosperity to improve the villagers’ sense of gain, happiness and security, deepening the understanding of traditional rural culture in the aspects of philosophy, humanism, and morality, and promoting integrative development to create unique and high-quality tourism routes.
Rao Xiangbi, Party Group Member and Deputy Director of the Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism
Rao Xiangbi, Party Group Member and Deputy Director of the Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, underscored the transformative power of cultural tourism in boosting industry upgrades and improving people’s sense of fulfilment and happiness. Recognizing Yunnan’s poetic landscapes, distinct location, diverse ethnic customs, and rich history, Rao vowed to convert these unique resources into key industries through collective efforts.
Tian Xuegong, Deputy Director and Party Group Member of Gansu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism
Sharing Gansu’s experience in invigorating rural communities through tourism, Tian Xuegong, Deputy Director and Party Group Member of Gansu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, highlighted Gansu’s progress achieved through policy support, project investment, and tourism quality upgrading. Gansu plans to continue moving forward along the path of “Enriching villagers, beautifying rural landscapes, exploiting rural treasures, preserving rural sentiment, and promoting rural civility”.
Yu Hui, Deputy Director of the Communication Division of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China
Yu Hui, Deputy Director of the Communication Division of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, discussed China’s poverty reduction practices from a global perspective. He stated that developing rural tourism plays a crucial role in implementing the comprehensive rural revitalization strategies. The idea of cultural tourism aligns perfectly with the “innovative, coordinated, green, open, shared” development philosophy. Improvements in rural infrastructure and enhancements in farmers’ working skills lay a solid foundation for the further development of these industries.
(Top Left) Zhao Xin, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Sishui County
(Top Right) He Xiaoying, Director of Lijiang Rural Revitalization Bureau
(Bottom Left) Li Zhenni, Vice President of Trip.com Group Limited and Director of the Trip.com Group Research Institute Rural Revitalization Research Center
(Bottom Right) He Dongchao, Deputy General Manager of the Government Affairs Department of Fliggy (Alibaba’s Travel Platform)
During the case study sharing session, Zhao Xin, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of Sishui County, Jining City, Shandong Province, told “the story of Sishui people”. Under the theme of “Leveraging comparative advantages, deepening culture-tourism integration, and actively exploring beneficial practices of tourism aiding rural revitalization”, she shared how Sishui seized opportunities in building a cultural demonstration core zone. The county set up a culture-tourism integration development leading group, promoting creative transformation and innovative development of excellent traditional culture. Sishui pioneered a partnership mechanism for rural revitalization, assembling artists, industry leaders, and inheritors of intangible cultural heritage to roll out new cultural experience product.
Contributions from Li Zhenni, Vice President of Trip.com Group Limited, He Dongchao, Deputy General Manager of the Government Affairs Department of Fliggy, and He Xiaoying, Director of Lijiang Rural Revitalization Bureau, further illuminated the positive impacts of tourism on rural revitalization.
This year’s WTA Members’ Day aimed to deeply explore diversified models of rural revitalization through tourism, share experiences from typical rural revitalization cases, and highlight tourism’s unique role in promoting common prosperity and integrated development of rural cultural tourism. Looking ahead, the WTA will continue to provide a platform through its Members’ Day events, actively publicizing the outcomes and experiences of poverty reduction and rural revitalization through tourism, telling the compelling story of tourism’s role in promoting shared prosperity in China.