Home > News > WTA·Xianghu Dialogue 2020 Kicks off in Hangzhou

WTA·Xianghu Dialogue 2020 Kicks off in Hangzhou


Poling Global Wisdom and Strength to Promote Tourism to a New Stage of Development

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit and affected the global tourism, and many enterprises are facing numerous difficulties and challenges. Nevertheless, against the background that travel has become an indispensable part of the people’s good life, the long-term, positive trend of tourism development remains unchanged. What do you think of the huge impact on current tourism? How to turn the crisis into an opportunity in a timely manner, effectively reduce the adverse impact of the pandemic on tourism, and further promote the high-quality development of tourism? On November 13, WTA·Xianghu Dialogue 2020 was held in Hangzhou. Online and offline participants from a total of 24 countries and regions jointly discussed the issues concerning tourism development under the impact of the pandemic by focusing on the questions above. In particular, industry experts, scholars and industry veterans were invited to the dialogue.

Zhang Xu, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, delivered a keynote speech. He said that the World Tourism Alliance (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 was of great practical significance to strengthen communication and exchange in the industry, pooled the wisdom of all parties, and promoted 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 were required for sustainable and sound development.


Mutual Benefit and Win-Win Results for Deepening Global Tourism Cooperation

WTA has put forward the concept of global tourism governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits and win-win results. Maintaining and improving the global tourism consultation governance system under multilateralism is in line with the fundamental interests of global tourism development. All countries around the world should jointly rise to development challenges, strengthen information communication and exchange, expand cooperation space in tourism, and jointly expedite the process of restoring and revitalizing global tourism.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, said tourism had been hit hard by the COVID-19, but has never been so united. The event fully indicates that global tourism is trying to find solutions and ways forward. The dialogue, through on-site and online activities, can prove that international travel is safe, which will help to build the confidence needed for a real rebuilding of tourism. The United Nations World Tourism Organization established its Global Tourism Crisis Committee (GTCC) in March this year and will soon hold its seventh meeting. Similarly, when planning for the future, we will count on the support of our friends in China and colleagues around the world, and we must ensure that the future is better, for tourism, for people and for the planet. He stressed, “the crisis has taught us that it is not enough to merely maintain global tourism management. We must improve what has been done. Sustainable development is the core of our work. We also need to ensure that tourism delivers broad and equitable benefits. We need to embrace new voices and new ideas to achieve this goal. The dialogue provides a platform for global exchanges and cooperation to share experiences and insights and work together for the recovery and rebuilding of global tourism.”

Henri Giscard d’ Estaing, Vice Chairman of WTA and Global President of Club Med, said, “We note that when borders are reopened, the desire for vacations and exploration remains, and people are more responsible and show more respect for our environment. Every crisis is an opportunity for reshaping and meeting the expectations of new customers. We need to adapt our industry to the new normal and restore people’s confidence in travel. China provides us with a major trend for tourism development. I believe that tour operators providing quality, safe and real experience will rebound strongly from this extraordinary crisis. We need to strengthen cooperation to achieve sustainable development of tourism. I believe that a bright and beautiful tomorrow is coming. Let’s move forward hand in hand to overcome the difficulties. ”


Scientific and Technological Innovation for Industrial Transformation and Upgrading of Cultural Tourism

The tourism faces huge challenges. At the same time, the pandemic accelerates market clearing and spawns a series of new demands and supplies. In terms of demand, consumer demands, including health tourism, suburban tourism, parent-child tourism and self-driving tourism, have seen accelerated expansion. In terms of supply, tourism companies have accelerated the adoption of online services and smart technologies and further integrated technology and products to promote the deep transformation of the industry towards “Internet + Tourism”. New demands and new supplies influence and stimulate each other, pushing the tourism to a new stage of development.

When it came to crisis response and corporate responsibility, Yao Jun, Director and General Manager of Overseas Chinese Town Group (OCT Group), said that the group would seize the opportunity to promote the digital transformation of cultural and tourism industry. In the stage of regular pandemic prevention and control, in order to meet the requirements of “peak staggering, flow restricting and appointment making”, we realized the comprehensive appointment management with the help of our own online platform – “smartoct.com”, and took this opportunity to improve the intelligent management level of OCT tourism system and achieved the system upgrade of smart tourist flow monitoring in scenic spots. We have also launched the strategic planning of digital transformation simultaneously, injecting new momentum into the industrial transformation and upgrading of the cultural and tourism of OCT. In addition, OCT Group, as a president member of China Tourist Attractions Association (CTAA) and China Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (CAAPA), launched the Cooperative Mechanism for Revitalizing Tourist Spots together with China Tourism Academy (CTA), in order to promote the resumption of work and production of scenic spots and market revitalization in an orderly manner. They also developed the group standard Guidelines for Epidemic Prevention and Control of Tourist Attractions and Their Operation to help the tourist attractions and theme parks achieve scientific pandemic prevention, orderly resumption of work and production, and revitalization after the pandemic.

EraSun Jie, CEO of Trip.com Group Limited, delivered a speech entitled “Challenges and Responses of Tourism Enterprises in the New Era”. She said, “We will enable ‘smart tourism’ with ‘digital infrastructure’ to promote the industrial transformation and upgrading of the cultural and tourism.” We can focus on the following: We will provide integrated smart solutions to promote the construction of smart scenic spots and hotels. In terms of the construction of smart scenic spots, the cloud platform is a development direction. The Trip.com Group unveiled the industry’s first “Smart Cloud Platform of Scenic Spots” in April 2020, providing technical solutions for four links of scenic spots: ticket purchase, entry, visit and after-sales service, realizing “Every Channels, Scenario, and Business” real-name reservation and helping scenic spots achieve digital upgrade. The digitalized Kaifeng Museum has been equipped with an intelligent ticketing system and offers a greatly improved tourism experience, becoming a model of intelligent cultural tourism. We will make layout in key scenic spots, carry out digital construction of museums and develop high-quality online versions. Based on the technical advantages of OTA platform, we will devote more efforts to develop online tour guide services and build big data and intelligent application platforms of destinations to improve the ability of intelligent management. To help the destination transform from traditional mode to intelligent mode, tourism destinations should be provided with big data and intelligent application platforms. Technologies like data processing and machine learning should be used to build such modules as user portraits, travel warnings & predictions and industry market analysis. The advantages of upstream and downstream industrial resources should be integrated to build an open platform for big data of tourism information. ”


Solidarity and Cooperation for Rebuilding the Global Tourism Economy

At present, the pandemic in the world has not been brought under full control, and each country is still faced with the daunting tasks of fighting the pandemic, stabilizing economy and ensuring people’s livelihood. As one of the largest industries in the world, tourism is the pillar industry of national economy in many countries and is regarded as an important industry to drive economic development in this critical period. In this context, it is particularly important for countries and regions at different stages for fighting the pandemic and with different conditions to carry out more effective international tourism cooperation in due course. There is more space for exchanges and cooperation in ideas, methods and technical means.

“Today’s dialogue reveals the need for tourism and tourism cooperation in all aspects. Only by cooperation, are we able to meet the challenges today. We have all seen the new and unexpected economic and social challenges posed by the COVID-19 and our response to it. But as we look to the future of tourism, there is hope that we can rebuild a better global tourism economy. ” said Pansy Ho Chiu-king, Vice Chairwoman and Secretary-General of the Global Tourism Economy Forum, Macao SAR. She said that we should learn the lessons of 2020 as tourism moves into the “next normal”: Learning from each other is more important than ever before. At both the national and international levels, cooperation is a top priority. Today’s event demonstrates that the common challenges we face have increased the sense of needing solidarity among tourism stakeholders. The industry stands ready to respond and reminds us of the need for high connectivity and interdependence.

Rita Marquez, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism, stressed that the coordination and cooperation among countries was the new trend of tourism development in the future. He said, “the global tourism should strengthen cooperation to reach a clear and coordinated approach on the removal of travel restrictions and the establishment of air route corridors. We need to be considerate and develop the standards and procedures to ensure that international travel continues. To meet the challenges posed by digital transformation, we need to adopt technological means on a large scale, train professionals in the industry, and combine various elements of tourism seamlessly, so as to provide consumers with solutions to enjoy simplified tourism. Finally, the tourism development model must be based on the principle of sustainability and practice sustainable development. All sectors of the tourism need to ensure that the tourism is in line with the sustainable development goals and that consumers are also aware of the growing importance of sustainable development. ”

At present, the good trend and situation of great development and prosperity of cultural tourism industry will not change. The demands of hundreds of millions of people for a better life represented by tourism consumption will increase. We should constantly improve the competitiveness and influence of the cultural tourism industry and promote its high-quality development. The global tourism should come together for joint response to challenges and pool wisdom, experience and strength of the world to promote the recovery, revitalization and prosperity of tourism.