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Insights & Inspirations | New Development Practices for Industrial Convergence


Liang Lingfeng

Chairman of Guangzhou Lingnan Commerce & Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd.

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Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

Good morning!

I would like to share with you some innovative practices and explorations of Guangzhou Lingnan Commerce & Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd. in the integration of culture, commerce and tourism for a faster return to the global tourism system.

February 6 this year is a memorable day. At 0:15 am that day, the first outbound tourist group since the COVID-19 pandemic, organized by CGZL under the Group, departed from Guangzhou to Egypt, marking the official restart of China’s outbound tourism after three years of suspension. Soon after that, the Group’s other branches across the country successively sent their first post-COVID outbound tourist groups abroad from other major domestic departure ports, heading for the first cohort of 20 countries approved by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China for the pilot resumption of outbound tourism. We strongly feel that the world is ready to welcome Chinese tourists and China is re-opening its doors to international tourists.

Our quick response comes from the super-size market in the new development paradigm and the requirements of high-quality development. We are making progress while maintaining stability. Our timely response also comes from our persistence in layout innovation, this making our development more sustainable.

First, we have been all along upholding the strategy of globalization. Guangzhou Lingnan Commerce & Tourism Investment Group Co., Ltd. is a model unit of Guangdong Province for the building of a world-class tourism enterprise. International tourism is an important part of the Group’s business. Through many years of market-oriented development guided by the globalization strategy, the Group has accumulated experience, reputation and strength for international development, the ability to pool and make good use of resources from around the world as well as the advantages in service delivery to send tourist groups directly to global destinations and cover the whole tourism industrial chain. The Group’s tourist destination management network covers more than 500 destinations in China and over 100 countries and regions around the world. The Group has been designated as chief or strategic partner in China by tourism agencies from 86 countries, and enjoys the privilege of direct visa application for 73 tourist destination countries.

In the past three years, despite the interruption of international tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we consolidated and advanced in-depth cooperation with more than 80 international airlines as well as leading international business partners such as Disney, Universal Studios, Sodexo, GL events, MCH and Decathlon. We have also seized the strategic opportunity offered by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the implementation of the Nansha Plan. We joined hands with China Tourism Academy to build a tourism base for accommodation development in the Greater Bay Area, cooperated with Macao Institute for Tourism Studies to establish the Tourism Education and Training Base for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and introduced the Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) to Guangzhou, thus strengthening the ties connecting Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

Second, we optimized layout of the industrial chain and supply chain. As the culture and tourism industry is widely connected to other businesses, highly comprehensive and open, we need to extend the supply chain at the consumption end and build an interwoven, interactive and safe industrial chain, so as to improve the supply capacity of all factors including food, accommodation, transportation, tourism, shopping and entertainment. In recent years, we have completed the joint restructuring of the tourism and commerce sectors and the advantages of the integration of culture, commerce and tourism have become more prominent, greatly enhancing our capacity for the allocation and integration of global resources. Moreover, we have promoted integration along the whole chain to connect agriculture and tourism.

During the pandemic, we stepped up efforts to build market presence by strategically acquiring destination management companies in Shanghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hainan, Hubei and other provinces, consolidating the “two-place” global operation system. We focused on the construction and operation of key projects to fill gaps and strengthen and extend the chains. Plans have been made for the operation of the Longshan 4A scenic area in Fengkai County, Mingchungu Scenic Area in the Baiyun Mountain and the National Pastoral Complex in Conghua, plus more than 60 other projects covering hotels, serviced apartments and cultural and tourism towns, representing an increase of 155%. We made a point of promoting the development of famous business circles, shops, products and festivals; purchased and provided services globally; expanded and deepened cooperation with countries and regions along the Belt and Road; and organized the CITIE for 14 consecutive years. This year, the Group is honored as general coordinator for the state-level Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, setting up a service platform covering the industries of tourism, accommodation, catering, trade, convention and exhibition.

At the beginning of this year, the Group began to manage Guangzhou Baiyun International Conference and Exhibition Center, which together form a top-notch international conference complex with a total area of over 400,000 square meters, contributing to Guangzhou’s effort of becoming an international convention and exhibition capital.

Third, We continue to seek digital transformation and build our group into a smart company. During the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years, there was a surge in digitalization as digital economy rapidly penetrated into all aspects of people’s work and life. In this context, digitalization and smart operation have become important engines driving high-quality economic development for enterprises. We closely followed the development trend of the industry backed by technology advancement, and accumulated technological driving force for tourism modernization. The data and business middle offices are advancing from digitalization to smart operation so that data can be pooled from multiple business forms and stakeholders at both ends can be empowered. Digital RMB application scenarios covered all three of the Group’s major business segments, namely, tourism, commerce, and food. With 43 national invention patents and software copyrights, ECWALK (aka Yi-Qi-Xing) has been designated as Guangdong Smart Tourism Engineering Technology Research Center and efforts have been made to transform traditional industries in an all-round manner and along the whole chain based on new technologies such as cloud computing, internet of things, mobile internet, big data and smart city, promoting innovation in smart business models.

We have established the Industrial Innovation Institute with Nanfang College Guangzhou to jointly build VR and big data analysis research office for the tourism industry. A matrix has been formed with our own e-commerce platforms including ECWALK, www.17ecgo.com and LN Club, providing nearly 15 million corporate members with all-scenario and all-round interactive services, strongly supporting innovations in the industry and the commercialization of research findings in culture, commerce and tourism.

Fourth, we have made efforts to boost tourism development with culture elements. Culture belongs to a specific nation but should be shared by the world. To create scenarios to help people experience the Lingnan culture and to spread the impressive Chinese culture while exploring ways for the integration of culture, commerce and tourism is a central task in our research and development efforts. We endeavor to seek creative transformation and innovative development of traditional culture. China’s first special museum focusing on the accommodation industry, i.e. the Garden Hotel Museum, has become a cultural hallmark in the Greater Bay Area, and a series of famous dishes that were once on the brink of disappearance are served in the Canton banquet of China Hotel, reviving traditional Lingnan cuisine which is sweet memories of many people.

As a symbol of fusion between local and global cuisines, the Garden Hotel hosts four Michelin-starred restaurants, and is a top choice for gourmets, fitting the status of Guangzhou as the capital of gastronomy.

In terms of architectural design, the Garden Hotel in Nansha follows nature’s way. Located at the geographical and geometric center of the Greater Bay Area, it presents the style of a Lingnan riverside town and the maritime culture with top-notch architectural design and is the most expensive among all star-rated hotels in Guangzhou. For LN Dongfang Hotel, the tent-themed music festival reminds people of the good old days when the hotel had the first live music venue in China. We have upgraded the Guangzhou Hotel into a fresh example of infusing new vitality into old brands by making meticulous efforts for every detail. The time-honored Xindaxin Department Store, features distinctive scenes featuring the different styles of Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, and has become a new highlight in the integration of culture, commerce and tourism. We have continued to breathe life into intangible cultural heritage based on the integration of culture tourism and commerce. Many inheritors of intangible cultural heritage have been invited to hotels and shopping malls under the Group to showcase traditional skills so visitors can have opportunities to feel the unique charm of Chinese culture up close.

With the acceleration of global tourism recovery, the United Nations has designated February 17 as the Global Tourism Resilience Day. In the spring of 2023, global tourism, after some harsh time, will start a brand new chapter. Staying committed to providing quality services for a better life, we will continue to strive to meet and exceed customer’s expectations and we look forward to working with everyone to move faster back into the world tourism system and make our contributions to the recovery of tourism on the whole. Thank you!