Officials from Hainan have taken on the mantel of the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit as the 2013 event comes to a close in Abu Dhabi.
Following two days of intense discussions at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in the emirate, responsibility for the 2014 summit was symbolically passed to Yibo Chen, special representative, Hainan Tourism Commission, during the closing ceremony of the annual event.
According to the WTTC, Hainan is on track to become one of the world’s leading tourist resort destinations by 2021.
According to a report from the organisation - ‘Hainan: Travel & Tourism Development Potential 2011 – 2021’ - tourism expenditure in Hainan will be roughly equivalent to that of Singapore today by 2021, and the industry will support as many jobs as in Malaysia and Italy today.
In December 2009, China’s State Council issued a decree that Hainan in the South China Sea – the largest Special Economic Zone in China – was to be elevated into a world-class international tourist resort destination by 2020 and the Provincial Government is now well on the way to reaching these goals, according to the WTTC report.
WTTC president David Scowsill said: “Hainan is clearly well on-track to achieve its aim of becoming a world-class international tourism destination by 2020.
“With rapid growth in employment, visitor expenditure and contribution to GDP, it is not surprising that this tropical island has already attracted the attention of almost every major international hotel brand.
“The government of Hainan Province clearly recognises tourism’s potential for economic and social contribution and great steps have been taken over the past three years to develop Hainan as a world-class destination.
“The opportunity is now to develop a sustainable, diverse product which draws on the Province’s unique cultural and natural heritage, burgeoning business tourism sector and high profile new attractions.”
Tourism is of growing importance in China.
Duan Qiang, president, Beijing Tourism Group, explained to delegates in Abu Dhabi: “We are very happy to see that many member companies of WTTC have already taken the initiative to develop human resources in width and depth.
“We would like to join hands with these companies and other tourism enterprises with same philosophy and ambition to achieve win-win, and meet the challenge of economic wave and population restructure.
“We will keep our efforts in creating more products with high added value, raising service quality, efficiency and benefits, promoting full employment, developing the overall potential of human resources, adding the value of mental and human capital of staff, so as to run tourism market large and strong, and to build up a more friendly image of enterprise citizen and an international brand with higher fame, recognition, reputation and loyalty.
“Let’s try our best to further promote the recovery of economy and stability of society, and welcome the bright future.”