China has launched an international tourism organization to facilitate international cooperation in and promote the sustainable development of tourism.
International tourism is looking forward to a comprehensive, non-governmental and non-profit global organization to facilitate international cooperation as more challenges need to be dealt with aside from government-to-government coordination, Li Jinzao, head of China National Tourism Administration said at the opening ceremony of the World Tourism Alliance (WTA).
The UN welcomes the founding of the WTA, said Taleb D. Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), who attended the opening ceremony. He said in May that the world hopes to see China's leadership in tourism.
China has become the largest source of outbound tourism, contributing more than 13 percent to global tourism a year. 122 million people traveled overseas in 2016, or 10 percent of the global volume.
Those who attended the opening ceremony expressed optimism toward the WTA's future role in global tourism and hope China leads global tourism.
Yao Xiaojing, chairman of the European Federation of Chinese Tourism, told the Global Times that the development of China's tourism has been noticeable and has a greater influence on European tourism. "This is China's first time to establish a global tourism platform, which would help share tourism resources and attract Chinese tourists," Yao said.
Liao Junqiao, head of the Seychelles-China Friendship Association, told the Global Times that the development of tourism is uneven and the WTA could help promote international cooperation.
The WTA was founded in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Tuesday, with representatives from more than 109 countries present at the opening ceremony.
Based in Beijing, the WTA will promote the concept of "tourism makes a better world" and has 89 members from 29 countries and regions, including China, the US and France.