WTTC Forges Ties With China


Agents can expect to see the WTTC work closely with Hainan, China, a popular beach destination, to further develop its travel and tourism industries in the near future. // (c) Fanghong 2011

In an effort to recognize its focus toward developing emerging economies and build upon the success of its China Initiative, the World Travel & Tourism (WTTC) has committed to working with tourism representatives from China’s Hainan Province. Agents can expect to see the WTTC and the Hainan Tourism Development to work with one another over the next 10 years to build up tourism to the southern province, which is home to Hainan Island, a popular beach destination located in the South China Sea.

Most recently, more than 60 representatives from China—including 20 from Hainan—attended the 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas last week, four of whom are new members of the WTTC. The delegation from Hainan was led by WTTC member, Chen Feng, chairman of the HNA Group. A large multi-industry enterprise group, HNA Group operates in many different sectors of travel and tourism and related industries, including air transport (with seven airlines) and airports, to hotels, real estate, logistics and retail.

Also in attendance were representatives from Hainan People’s Government, led by Tan Li, vice governor and director general of the Hainan Tourism Development Commission, together with Lu Zhiyuan, assistant governor of Hainan Provincial People’s Government.

“The strong participation of Hainan Province is extremely welcome,” said David Scowsill, WTTC president and CEO. “WTTC has been working closely with the Hainan Tourism Development Commission on a study to assess the province’s tourism performance, as well as to forecast its travel and tourism development and investment potential over the next 10 years.”

Commissioning the study, which is due to be completed in a couple of months, was especially timely since Hainan Island has been earmarked as an international resort island by China’s State Council. As a result, there is huge growing interest in the destination among tourism and hospitality investors and management companies, according to the WTTC.

The Hainan People’s Government has also acknowledged WTTC’s role in promoting the economic importance of travel and tourism by inviting Jean-Claude Baumgarten, a WTTC vice-chairman and the association’s former president and CEO, to chair the Tourism International Advisory Board of Hainan Province.

The nomination was confirmed during an official ceremony organized in Las Vegas, during the 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit, by Tan Li in the presence of the Hainanese delegation.

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