UNWTO boss seeks creative approach

Travel and tourism in Asia Pacific must be creative and innovative in the fight to overcome the global economic downturn. That’s the hard hitting message given to 450 delegates at a conference on the ‘Revitalization of Tourism and Confronting Crisis’ in Chengdu, China.Dr Taleb Rifai, Deputy Secretary-General of the UNWTO, told delegates that it was ‘not a time to shrink or retreat but rather a time to invest’.
    “We must be innovative, creative and flexible and recognise that the industry has a proven resilience to major disasters,” he said.
    CNTA chief Shao Qiwei told the conference that improved risk management policies will help the industry to better overcome crises and challenges. Referring to the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province last May he said that investment in infrastructure, accelerated recovery programmes and greater private sector engagement will all benefit the region’s tourism industry.
    The PATA-supported conference was organised jointly by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, China National Tourism Administration and Sichuan Provincial People’s Government. Speakers included Hong Kong Tourism Commission King-chi Au, Caroline Beteta, CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission and Professor Dai Bin from the China Tourism Academy.