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Chinese city vows to increase collaboration with World Tourism Organisation
UNWTO´s strong relationship with China was reiterated recently, following a visit by Tianjin City´s Vice Mayor Mr. Ren Xue-feng to the Organization’s Madrid Headquarters and discussions with Secretary-General Taleb Rifai about the future of tourism in Tianjin and the city´s ongoing collaboration with UNWTO.
The visiting delegation from Tianjin, which also included Mr. She Qing-wen, Director-General of Tianjin Tourism Administration and high level representatives from the tourism, banking and investment sectors, met with Dr. Rifai and other UNWTO senior officials from 1-2 February to reflect on the positive relationship between Tianjin and the organization ever since their first cooperation at Tianjin Tourism Industry Expo in 2009.
UNWTO is very happy with the achievements made by Tianjin, which, through focusing on its industrial character and hosting events like the unique Tourism Industry Expo and the UNWTO Asian Pacific Training Program on tourism marketing in 2011, is setting itself apart from other Chinese cities and creating a niche.
China, which in 2010 attracted US$45.8 billion in foreign exchange earnings from international tourism and the equivalent of almost US$200 billion from domestic tourism, has become the third most visited country in the world. The country´s tourism industry, which has shown steady growth in both inbound and outbound markets for a number of years, is reflective of the overall success of the Asia and Pacific Region, both in domestic and international tourism.
Just half an hour from Beijing, Tianjin is the gateway to China´s capital and the so-called Pearl of the Bohai Bay. In recent years, the city has developed its tourism industry, focusing on its regional strengths and characteristics and working in collaboration with UNWTO to host international events including the Tourism Industry Expo and Asia Pacific Training Program.
UNWTO emphasized that through proper planning and management, Tianjin has the capability to convert its rich tourism resources into attractive tourism products, building up Tianjin into a key Chinese tourism destination.
Mr. Ren, after thanking Mr. Rifai and UNWTO representatives for their promise to continue supporting Tianjin´s tourism development, committed to hosting and sponsoring the Asian Pacific Training Program for another five years and increasing its involvement in the activities of UNWTO by joining the UNWTO Observatory Program, a group of reporting stations across Chinese cities which monitor the environmental and socio-economic impacts of tourism in a region.