China-initiated World Tourism Alliance officially established

The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) initiated by China was officially established during the ongoing 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) held in Chengdu on Sept. 11. It is the first global, comprehensive, non-governmental, non-profit international tourism organization.

UNWTO Vice President Jason Westbury noted that the WTA will enhance communication between Chinese and Australian tourism industries. It is an economic cooperation that promotes people-to-people bonds, he added.

With the idea “tourism makes the world a better place,” the alliance aims to promote development, poverty reduction, and peace.

Eighty-nine members from 29 countries and regions, including China, the U.S., France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, and Brazil participate in the alliance.

Chairman Li Jinzao of the China National Tourism Administration said the WTA serves as a platform for international tourism cooperation. It will further improve China’s influence in the international tourism industry by absorbing other countries’ advanced experiences, the chairman added.

China now enjoys an increasingly important position in the global tourism industry, becoming the largest country of outbound trips and the fourth largest tourism destination. Putting a great value on the country’s experiences and market, the world is expecting to enhance cooperation with China.

Secretary-General of UNWTO Taleb Rifai spoke highly of China’s role in the global tourism industry, stressing the country’s great contributions. “China has offered a best example – to take tourism as a developmental priority,” he said, adding that it has fully released its potential in terms of rural development and poverty alleviation.

“We believe that Chinese approaches and measures could also be applied to guide the development of other countries,” Rifai explained.

The UNWTO anticipates China will soon become the world’s largest inbound destination. Rifai expects China to lead the healthy, rapid, and sustainable development of global tourism.

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