The opening ceremony of the first World Conference on Tourism for Development was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 19. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered a speech at the ceremony, noting that while the tourism industry is a driving force to cultivate new economic opportunities, alleviate poverty and construct a beautiful China, it also is a bridge for friendly exchanges with the outside world.
In addition, Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, attended the ceremony and delivered speeches. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, sent his congratulatory message. They all noted the importance of tourism’s role in terms of promoting international economic and social development, culture exchange, global economy growth, and driving world peace. More than 1,000 attended the ceremony, including leaders from more 100 countries and international organizations, tourism board officials, and travel industry representatives.
Premier Li, together with the leaders of attending countries and organizations, attended the launching ceremony of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.
Li Jinzao, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration, also attended the event and noted that in the coming five years, China will launch a series of international cooperation projects on tourism, including the development and protection of tourism resources, consulting services for tourism planning and training of Chinese-speaking tour guides and management staff.