2022 Forum on International Tourism cooperation and development under RCEP framework was successfully held in Kunming

2022-07-23 19:54:00       Size:[L  M  S]


On July 23, 2022, the 2022 Forum on International Tourism cooperation and development under RCEP framework was held in Kunming, Yunnan. It was sponsored by the Organizing Committee of the 2022 China International Travel Mart and organized by the Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and China Tourism Academy. With the theme of "RCEP &high-quality development of Tourism", this forum took the form of combining online and offline. Through opening speeches, special research reports, keynote speeches, special dialogues, Kunming initiatives and a series of supporting activities, it built a new dialogue platform for international tourism exchange and cooperation, and new opportunities sharing in RCEP region.


The main leaders and guests attending the forum included Shi Yugang, Deputy Secretary of Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, Zhang Xilong, Inspector at Director General Level of Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Wang Hao, Member of the leading Party group of People's Government of Yunnan Province, Dai bin, President of China Tourism Academy, Li Yaying, Deputy Director of Education, Culture and Tourism Division of China ASEAN center, Wai Yee Lin, Commercial Consul of the Consulate General of Myanmar, Zhang Shijin, Deputy Secretary General of Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, Jiang Xingming, Deputy Secretary General of People's Government of Yunnan Province, Su Hong, Director of Kunming Office, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Zhao Guoliang, Director-General of Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, An Enfa, Memeber of the Standing Committee of Kunming Municipal Party Committee, and the Deputy Mayor, and Zhao Kuiwei, Deputy Director of Department of Culture and Tourism of Liaoning Province. There were also about 200 guests attending the meeting, including officials of the Consulate General of RCEP in Kunming, representatives from the international tourism organization's branches in China, representatives of RCEP member countries in China and overseas cultural and tourism enterprises in China, representatives of relevant provincial (municipal) cultural and tourism departments (bureaus), tourism research institutions, think tanks and industry associations and institutions, and heads of relevant tourism related enterprises. The forum was hosted by Yang Jinsong, director of the International Research Institute of China Tourism Academy.


Shi Yugang, Deputy Secretary of Yunnan Provincial Party Committee, delivered an ebullient speech. He said RCEP is breeding an important institutional environment, under which tourism in Yunnan Province is recovering and getting ready to attract tourists both at home and abroad with qualified tourism facilities and services. Yunnan will accelerate the connectivity of travel services, provide the most convenient travel conditions, and vigorously promote the construction of major transportation infrastructure such as civil aviation, railway and highway. Convenient and comfortable travel service will be provided with continuous service innovations and a market-oriented, legal and international business environment. It is planned to make Yunnan Province one of the top destinations in China within three years.


Zhang Xilong, the Inspector at Director General Level of Bureau of International Exchange and Cooperation of Ministry of Culture and Tourism, delivered a speech. The formal signing and implementation of The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) brings long-term benefits to international tourism exchanges and cooperation, and also brings valuable development opportunities to RCEP member countries. The Chinese government attaches great importance to cultural and tourism exchanges with foreign countries. We should fully explore the potential of RCEP policies, continue to expand cooperation fields, innovate communication channels, deepen practical cooperation, promote regional tourism integration, and inject new vitality into the recovery of tourism and economic development in China and the world.


Wai Yee Lin, Commercial Consul of Consulate General of Myanmar, delivered a speech. As the second largest country in the ASEAN, Myanmar has many attractive tourist destinations throughout the year. The tourism sector contributes about 10% of the GDP, and this number still has a potential to grow. Thanks to the opening commitment of RCEP member countries, the residents of member countries can benefit in many fields, including the tourism industry, and promote local economic development through innovation. It is believed that Myanmar's commitment to regional economic cooperation can promote a common and prosperous future among member countries.


Dai bin, President of China Tourism Academy, delivered an opening speech with the theme, promoting the recovery of inbound and outbound tourism with more open regionalism, and released the special research report titled "Closer RCEP Cooperation, Promising Tourism Industry". The report systematically analyzes and studies the tourism cooperation and development under the framework of RCEP, combs the tourism development of RCEP member countries, analyzes and compares the international tourism influencing power of main RCEP cities, and examines the tourism destinations of RCEP member countries under the pre- and post- COVId-19 from the perspective of Chinese outbound tourists. The positive impacts of RCEP will continue, and provide richer and more exciting innovation possibilities for future international tourism exchanges and cooperation.


Su Hong, Director of Kunming Office, Tourism Authority of Thailand delivered a keynote speech entitled "International Tourism Cooperation under the RCEP Framework". Thai entrepreneurs pay close attention to and attach importance to China's tourism market. At the same time, more than 69 million Thai tourists look forward to traveling to China, especially to Yunnan Province by the China Laos railway.  At present, Thailand has built high-speed trains to connect with neighboring countries, and the travel will be more convenient in the future. The Tourism Bureau of Thailand also plans to promote air, water and land travel and promote more cultural and tourism exchanges with surrounding countries.


Zhao Guoliang, Director-General of Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, delivered a keynote speech entitled "Local Tourism Practice under the RCEP Framework". First, RCEP and the important significance of RCEP to the tourism development. RCEP is closely connected with the regional tourism market, and its impacts on tourism, especially inbound and outbound tourism, are obvious. Second, Yunnan's participation in bilateral and multilateral tourism cooperation. The unique geographical advantages, coupled with a good tourism development foundation, indicate that Yunnan will play an important role under the RCEP framework. The event of the Asian elephant going north and returning South has made Yunnan's beautiful rivers and mountains, diverse ecology and culture recognized by the world, and laid a good foundation for Yunnan's tourism, especially the establishment of the global image of eco-tourism. Third, some preliminary considerations and plans for Yunnan's participation in RCEP. Those include further optimizing the development layout, actively building the western Yunnan Tourism ring line, the border cross-border cultural tourism belt, the Jinsha River ecotourism belt and six international tourism centers, and striving to build a new pattern of high-quality tourism development of "one ring, two belts and six centers". In the future, Yunnan's role in RCEP regional cooperation will be further highlighted.


Dai bin, President of China Tourism Academy, presided over the special dialogue of entrepreneurs. Li Xinyu, Vice President of Trip.com Group Limited, You Cheng, President of Institute of Tourism, China Tourism Group, Yang Min, President of Kanglv Holding Group, Wang Yundong, General Manager of Health Industrial Developing Group, Wang Jun, President of CCTID and other guests participated into this session with their opinions sharing on the theme "RCEP &Tourism: Open • Cooperative • Win-Win".


Li Xinyu, Vice President of Trip.com Group Limited, said that Trip.com Group actively built an international platform with the help of RCEP framework to promote the digital transformation of the global tourism industry. At the same time, they will take advantage of RCEP to expand and strengthen international marketing. In the trips of Chinese tourists to other RCEP countries, Ctrip launched the global travel OSI service in 2017, providing emergency assistance, brief translation, lost and found and other services, and constantly offering new kind of travel services. With the further implementation of RCEP, Ctrip attaches great importance to the relevant policies, specifically those concerning entry facilitation for inbound tourism development, such as the implementation of visa on arrival


Wang Jun, President of CCTID, said that Weiguang Huitong specializes in developing cultural tourism towns. The mode is to present local Chinese culture in the form of towns, such as the torch festival in Chuxiong Yi Town. Activated cultural and creative products have more opportunities under the RCEP framwork. For example, Ruili ancient city will shorten the distance between Thailand, Myanmar and China. Foreign tourists like attractions with distinctive cultures very much. The implementation of RCEP will make more international tourists willing to come to the cultural tourism town. In 2019, about 5% of the tourists received by Weiguang Huitong were foreign tourists. It is hoped that RCEP will provide more opportunities to introduce high-quality industrial talents and development models from Japan, Southeast Asia and other countries in leisure, vacation and camping.


Yang Min, President of Kanglv Holding Group, believes that facing the opportunities of RCEP, the following aspects should be considered. First, information platform. The most concerned point of outbound tourists is safety. The current issue is whether the tourism information platform can enable RCEP tourists to accurately grasp all kinds of information of tourism destinations, especially those concerning travel safety and health. Second, financial policies. Due to the characteristics of the tourism industry, more financial policy supports and longer-term loans should be given to tourism enterprises. As to investment support, tourism related stakeholders, like infrastructure and real estate should also be considered to in large-scale tourism destinations building. The third is to solve the problem of the profit distribution mechanism of travel agencies. It is necessary to form a normal profit distribution mechanism for travel agencies and provide better tourism services through reasonable, legal and institutional arrangements.

Wang Yundong, General Manager of Health Industrial Developing Group, proposed that there are four major problems in how to do tourism under the RCEP framework. First, the tourism development in RCEP countries is very unbalanced, and it is difficult for tourism enterprises in some countries to benefit from it. There are many barriers in registering travel agencies and establishing tourism companies. He hoped this issue will be considered within the RCEP framework. Second, standards and services. One example is the language arrangement when signing the contract. Third, personnel training. Universities in Yunnan province can train talents for Southeast Asia, and investigate the needs of small language talents. Fourth, Fundamental investment imbalance. Yunnan can serve as a bridge for Chinese enterprises to invest. Once the market is opened, tourism in all RCEP countries will benefit.

You Cheng, President of Institute of Tourism, China Tourism Group, made a speech through video. With the normalization of epidemic prevention and containment, major changes have taken place in both China's tourism market and the international tourism market. There have been significant changes in the structure of tourist information sources, consumption habits and purchasing behavior. Young people have gradually become the main force of consumption. RCEP member countries are important partners to China tourism group. The group will continue to expand and optimize the service layout, promote the operation of tax-free shopping, hotel and related services, and also extend new forms of travel services. In the post epidemic era, it will promote the continuous deepening of RCEP tourism cooperation. They are to 1) explore the feasibility of regional integration tourism, to make cooperation deeper and more practical; 2) encourage tourism enterprises to expand exchanges, strengthen cooperation, build a benign and interactive tourism industry ecology, and prepare for the recovery of tourism after the epidemic; 3) design products in advance, strengthen international publicity, and prepare for market recovery. In terms of products, service innovation is encouraged to meet the new demands of travel consumers to the maximum extent.


During the dialogue, President Dai bin expressed thanks to all entrepreneurs for coming. President Dai bin emphasized that there are thousands of policies, but the market is the first. He hoped that the management department will provide entrepreneurs with a better business environment and better services, and  entrepreneurs can integrate their business into the development of tourism and do more in the new environment of RCEP. President Dai Bin said that China Tourism Academy will provide more intellectual support for enterprises and management departments to help the high-quality development of tourism under the RCEP framework.

Shi Lin, Inspector at Director General Level of Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, released the Kunming Initiative for international tourism exchange and cooperation under the RCEP framework. The initiative stresses that RCEP partners should and can play a more constructive role in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Tourism Promotion Plan, make new contributions to the prosperity and development of world tourism and jointly create a better future.

After an in-depth discussion, the participants of the Forum on International Tourism cooperation and development under RCEP framework reached a series of consensus on promoting tourism cooperation and development under the RCEP framework. RCEP, characterized by openness, cooperation and win-win results, is an important institutional element associated with the high-quality development of the tourism industry, which will help these efforts achieve more and better results. The high-quality development of the tourism industry is also conducive to promoting RCEP to a new level and discovering new cooperation opportunities. It is encouraged that Yunnan and other destinations with unique advantages to play an innovative role in tourism cooperation and share best practical experiences in the advantageous fields, like green tourism development and cultural heritage tourism development.

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