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WTA·Xianghu Dialogue 2020 Kicks off in Hangzhou


On November 13, WTA·Xianghu Dialogue 2020 was inaugurated in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Zhang Xu, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, Zhang Zexi, Vice Chairman of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the CPPCC, Duan Qiang, Chairman of World Tourism Alliance (WTA), Rafael Dezcallar De Mazarredo, Ambassador of Spain to China, and Tong Guili, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Hangzhou Municipal Committee and Secretary of the CPC Xiaoshan District Committee, attended the dialogue and delivered speeches. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, delivered a speech online. Rita Marquez, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism, and Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council, delivered keynote speeches online. More than 450 people were present, including those from foreign embassies (consulates) in China, foreign tourism agencies in China, members of the WTA, relevant provincial cultural and tourism departments (bureaus), and representatives of the tourism industry, academia, relevant tourism cities and media.

Zhang Xu said that WTA gathered the elites of the global tourism online and at the venue in this special period to discuss the development plan of the global tourism, which is of great practical significance to strengthen communication and exchanges in the industry, pool the wisdom of all parties, and promote the recovery and revitalization of tourism. He also shared his specific views: First, we should uphold multilateralism, deepen international tourism cooperation and accelerate the recovery and revitalization of global tourism; second, we should support main market players, create a favorable environment for development, stimulate innovation potential, and maintain a sound business environment; third, we should provide high-quality tourism services and products, make good use of new technologies and bring more benefits to people around the world; fourth, we should give play to the role of tourism as a bridge, promote friendly people-to-people exchanges, and further give full play to the leading role of tourism organizations and international organizations, so as to build a communication platform for the recovery of global tourism and sustainable development in the future, and lay a solid cultural foundation for building a community of a shared future for mankind. Zhang Xu emphasized that to promote the recovery and revitalization of global tourism, unity and cooperation are required for sustainable and sound development.

In his speech, Zhang Zexi said WTA is a globally comprehensive international tourism organization. It is headquartered by Xianghu Lake, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province of China, providing Zhejiang with a crucial opportunity to be better involved in the world and become more internationalized to present a positive image of the province. He expected to take the opportunity of the WTA·Xianghu Dialogue to advance communication, enhance common understanding, share experience and deepen cooperation with counterparts from all over the world, so as to work together to boost global tourism.

Duan Qiang, Chairman of WTA, said in his speech that mankind will eventually overcome COVID-19, and that the trend of world economic recovery and development will not change, nor will the direction of global tourism returning to prosperity. We have full confidence in the future. The WTA·Xianghu Dialogue is expected to pool wisdom, build consensus and establish cooperation to give advice and suggestions for the recovery and revitalization of tourism in the post-epidemic era. “Tourism is a sunrise industry that meets people’s needs for a better life. As long as we have a firm confidence, help each other when in trouble and pursue win-win cooperation towards the goal of a ‘Better Tourism, Better Life, Better World’, we will make greater contributions to the development of global tourism and a better life for mankind.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, said the crisis provided an opportunity for global tourism to make sustainable development the core of all work. The United Nations is committed to continuing to drive sustainable development of tourism and promote extensive and equal access to the benefits of tourism, including the services for women, children and young people, and rural communities. The dialogue provides a global exchange and cooperation platform for sharing experience, contributing to the recovery and rebuilding of global tourism.

Rafael Dezcallar De Mazarredo, Ambassador of Spain to China, said that despite the difficult times, the Spanish and global tourism industries were working hard to revive and revitalize tourism. As Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez put it, “We are working to turn the current crisis into an opportunity to promote development of a more competitive, sustainable tourism pattern”. Together with global tourism, Spain will continue to pursue high-level development of tourism.

Tong Guili, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Hangzhou Municipal Committee and Secretary of the CPC Xiaoshan District Committee, said that Xianghu has become an important passage for Xiaoshan and Hangzhou to go global for WTA’s headquarters, the construction of World Tourism Museum, and WTA·Xianghu Dialogue there. Xiaoshan will continue to provide full support for WTA by creating the best environment and offering the best service; we fervently hope that the WTA, alongside all member organizations, will stand together with Hangzhou to deepen our cooperation and work together to create a better future for all and build a new platform and landmark of the global tourism cooperation.

With the theme of “Shaping the Future: Rebuilding Confidence & Embracing the New Normal in Travel & Tourism”, the two-day event involves online and offline participants from 24 countries and regions. Tourism authorities, tourism associations, tourism enterprises, international organizations and experts and scholars focused on seven parts for in-depth discussions and exchanges, including “Global Tourism Cooperation and Governance Innovation under Multilateralism”, “Confidence and Change – Outlook on the Development Trend of Global Tourism”, “Facing the Future – More Responsible Tourism”, “Challenges Brought by COVID-19 and Industry Changes”, “Industry Transformation and Quality Development”, “Industry Transformation and Innovative Development” and “Industrial Transformation and Educational Growth”. At the conference, WTA, the World Bank and International Poverty Reduction Center in China jointly released the WTA Best Practice in Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism 2020, and presented the practice of poverty alleviation through tourism at the Azheke Village, Yunnan Province, China. WTA and China Tourism Academy jointly issued the Report on World Tourism Development 2020: Confidence in Market Recovery & Challenges of Industry Transformation.

WTA is the first global, comprehensive, non-governmental and non-profit international tourism organization initiated and established by China. Since its inception, WTA, with its mission and vision of a “Better Tourism, Better Life, Better World”, has been committed to promoting tourism for peace, development and poverty alleviation. In recent years, WTA has built a platform and witnessed development and growth. Now, it boasts 211 members from 40 countries and regions, which is typical and widely representative. It has become a cooperation platform for the dialogue and exchange of global tourism, a practical and authoritative information platform, a media platform for resource sharing and a communication platform for integrated development. WTA·Xianghu Dialogue is a high-level forum advocated and sponsored by WTA.