September 21st, 2017, Los Angeles – WTCF Los Angeles Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2017 was held on the September 19. The Summit, themed “Impact of Globalization on World Tourism City Development”, attracted about 400 delegates from 51 countries and 87 cities. A total of 37 ministers and mayors, senior managers from international tourism organization and representatives from international organization including UNWTO and PATA were invited to attend the summit.
The opening ceremony was hosted by Mr. Ernest Wooden Jr., Vice-Chairman of WTCF Council and President and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Chen Jining, Chairman of WTCF Council and acting Mayor of Beijing; Li Jinzao, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration; Zhu Shanzhong, Executive Director of UNWTO; and Mr. Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles delivered remarks at the ceremony.
Song Yu, Secretary-General of WTCF; Ms. Pia Riika Birgitta Pakarinen, Vice Mayor of Helsinki; Karl Wöber, Director of the Expert Committee of WTCF; and Jeanie Buss, Controlling Owner and President of the Los Angeles Lakers made keynote speeches under the theme of “Globalization and its Impact on World Tourism City Development”.
In his remarks, Chen Jining, Chairman of WTCF Council and Acting Mayor of Beijing, expressed his hope that a deeper understanding of globalization would be obtained through the insightful discussions during the summit. He also noted that a more open collaborative platform should be built as a result of the summit to promote a more inclusive and balanced globalization in favor of robust tourism growth worldwide.
19 new members were sworn into WTCF at the opening ceremony where promotional films featuring the world tourism city data platform and tourism investment guide were released. Mrs. Raisa Banfiled, Vice-Mayor of Panama City, delivered a speech on behalf of all new members.
During the ceremony, the Los Angeles Declaration of World Tourism Cities Federation was unveiled. Under the theme of globalization and collaborative development of world tourism cities, the declaration makes the following six-point proposal to all its members: 1) further boost the tourism industry worldwide; 2) improve tourism service quality across the world; 3) facilitate a collaborative and balanced development of world tourism; 4) make tourism service more accessible and efficient; 5) build up security to assure tourists; 6) effectively protect tourism resources.
Three bid cities made presentation to the Council Meeting, and city of Helsinki was finally chosen to host the WTCF Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2019.
During this Summit, events such as the tourism exhibition, tourism trade and investment fair and tourism promotion meeting were held by WTCF to facilitate better communication and collaboration among its members who were able to showcase innovate tourism products and explore new market potential.
The Tourism Investment Fair, co-hosted by the Committee of Investment, the Sub-Committee of WTCF, and the World Trade Center Los Angeles allowed participants to engage in efficient dialogue and cooperation opportunities between famous Chinese tourism and their counterparts from Spain and the US. During the tourism trade fair, 17 of the top 20 Chinese enterprises including CITS, CYTS, CTS, BTG, Ctrip and Tuniu.com had exchanges with nearly 100 enterprises from L. A. and others.
During the press briefings, tripartite agreements were signed by WTCF and with Helsinki, Tencent, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Qingdao Tourism Development Committee, and Xiamen Airlines. WTCF will continue to promote win-win development between and among cities and institutions and build a wider platform for all members.
Four themed forums of the summit will be held the on following day. The topics of the four themed forums are “Solutions to Challenges Faced by Tourism Cities, Competitive Strengths and Brand Building of Tourism Cities, Policy Environment Promotes Tourism Investment, and China’s Outbound Tourism: New Trend and Market Dynamics”. Mayors from tourism cities, executives from tourism institutions, and scholars are invited to discuss the most concerned topics such as travel security, brand marketing, advantages of infrastructure and resources, investment, etc.
The Research Report on World Tourism City Development 2017 and UNWTO-WTCF City Tourism Performance Research is scheduled to be released during the 2017 Summit. The former aims to steer world tourism development along the modern, standardized, and collaborative path by analyzing individual cases of tourism cities and benchmarking evaluation criteria.
UNWTO and WTCF jointly launched the City Tourism Performance Research in 2016. The research is an instrument with a set of criteria that could be used globally to benchmark tourism performance. So far, case studies conducted in 16 sample cities have been completed, which lead to the discovery of25 profound issues that may determine the development of world tourism cities.
2017 WTCF Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit has won WTCF worldwide acclaim by exhibiting its quality service, superb leadership, and increasing influence on its members and the global tourism industry. It is predicted that WTCF will usher in a new era of global development for the world tourism cities.