The signing ceremony of the letter of intent on quadrilateral cooperation
From November 27 to 30, the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Africa Regional Conference Tunisia 2023, jointly held by the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia, and the Tunisian National Tourist Office, was successfully held in Tunisia. With the theme of "New Era of China-Africa Tourism Cooperation", this conference is a grand event of the tourism industry in aligning with the general trend of the recovery and development of the global tourism industry, consolidating the achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative during the past ten years, and implementing international tourism cooperation between China and Africa. The conference featured an opening ceremony, keynote speeches, a special forum, a tourism B2B matching event, etc. More than 200 representatives of media agencies, tourism enterprises, investment institutions, scientific research institutes, tourism organizations, and airlines from 16 countries and regions including Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria and China attended the event.
Venue of the WTCF Africa Regional Conference Tunisia 2023.
Mohamed Moez Belhassine, Minister of the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia, Wan Li, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Tunisia, and Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches.
Belhassine said that the relationship between Tunisia and China has been exemplary in history and should be further strengthened in multiple dimensions, especially in the tourism industry. He believed that as a member of the BRI, Tunisia is willing to collaborate with China to further develop bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism.
Wan Li emphasized that the WTCF Africa Regional Conference Tunisia 2023 was held at the right time. He expected that, based on the development situation of the tourism industry in the post-pandemic era, this conference will bring more opportunities for cooperation and development in the tourism industry between China and Africa and write a new chapter in the sustainable development of tourism cooperation.
Li Baochun pointed out that it is necessary to rely on the BRI development platform to strengthen the construction of African tourist destinations and the cooperation between Chinese and African tourism enterprises, to achieve the diversified development of the connectivity between tourism and trade, and promote China-Africa tourism cooperation to a higher level.
Mohamed Moez Belhassine, Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts of Tunisia, is delivering a speech.
Wan Li, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Tunisia, is delivering a speech.
Li Baochun, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of WTCF, is delivering a speech.
At the Special Forum, professionals from academia, the tourism industry and the media focused on the BRI tourism mutual benefit cooperation and shared regional tourism resources and projects. Besides, they discussed how to give full play to the advantages of various platforms, media and tourism institutions under the BRI framework to promote tourism openness and cooperation between countries and regions and provide constructive suggestions on the development and promotion of tourism resources in Africa and Tunisia.
During the Special Training on International Tourism Destination Management, more than 200 Tunisian tourism practitioners received training, which has enhanced local enterprises' understanding of the Chinese tourism market and Chinese tourists' consumption habits. Meanwhile, it promoted the internationalization and modernization of Tunisia's local tourism service industry.
The Special Forum for WTCF Africa Regional Conference Tunisia 2023
During this conference, a tourism B2B matching event was also held, where 10 flagship travel agencies from China conducted one-to-one business negotiations with more than 70 local tourism companies in Tunisia. Helmi Hassine, Director-General of Tunisian National Tourist Office, stated that this matching event is an important milestone in the development of Tunisia's tourism industry, and expressed gratitude for the support of the WTCF. He also said that Tunisia looks forward to establishing more cooperation with Chinese tourism agencies to provide tourists with richer tourism products and high-quality services.
At this conference, a letter of intent on quadrilateral cooperation was jointly signed by the WTCF, the Tunisian National Tourist Office, Tunisair, and Capital Airports Holdings Co., Ltd. This achievement has laid a solid foundation for the early realization of direct flights between China and Tunisia, and also provided new opportunities and stimulated new momentum for the development of the tourism industries in both countries.
The convening of this conference coincided with the 10th anniversary of the BRI, the Tunisia's 5th anniversary of joining BRI, and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Tunisia. The fruitful achievements of the conference confirmed the general trend of the recovery and development of the global tourism industry, implemented the Beijing Initiative for Deepening Cooperation on Connectivity, the Initiative on International Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework for Digital Economy and Green Development, the Green Investment and Finance Partnership and other cooperation initiatives reached during the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation 2023. Besides, it consolidated the achievements of the BRI during the past ten years and played a better bridging role in strengthening the friendship between China and Africa, enhancing regional cultural integration, mutual learning of civilizations, and people-to-people bond.
The WTCF is the world's first international tourism organization focusing on tourism cities, headquartered in Beijing. It currently has 244 members, including 164 city members, 80 institutional members, and 337 branch members, covering 85 countries and regions in five continents and the entire industry chain of the tourism industry worldwide. Since its establishment in 2012, the WTCF has always adhered to the development concept of " Better City Life through Tourism ", committed to building a global tourism multilateral exchange platform to promote featured products and the development experiences of tourism cities and facilitate cooperation and development among global tourism cities. The WTCF also cultivated four major branded conferences, including the Regional Tourism Conference of the WTCF. It has held multiple offline regional tourism conferences in Penang, Malaysia, Bogota, Colombia, Seville, Spain, Panama City, the capital of Panama, Samarkand, Uzbekistan and other cities, vigorously promoting tourism exchanges and cooperation among regional cities, and giving strong driving force to the development of the regional tourism industry.
Edited and Translated by Li Tian