On 8 June 2018, the Harbin-ASEAN Japan and ROK Tourism Promotion was successfully held in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. The Promotion was hosted by the Harbin Municipal Government, organized by Harbin Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and supported by ASEAN-China Centre (ACC). Mr. Zhang Wanping, Vice Mayor of Harbin Municipal Government, Mr. Ishizuka Hideki, Consul General of Japan to Shenyang and Ms. Yan Honglei, Director of Harbin Tourism Committee attended the Promotion. Ms. Kong Roatlomang, Director of Education, Culture and Tourism Division of ACC attended the Promotion and delivered remarks as the representative of ACC. The Promotion brought together more than 150 participants from Tourism Departments of Cambodia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand, local tourism enterprises, and relevant stakeholders.
Mr. Zhang Wanping delivered opening remarks and expressed profound appreciation to the strong support from ASEAN Tourism Department and ASEAN-China Centre. He mentioned that with the rapid development of Harbin economy and the continuous improvement of living standard, outbound tourism has become an important part of daily life. In 2017, Harbin received more than 18 million passengers by air. Tourism has become one of the pillar industries of Harbin economy. On this basis, the future cooperation with ASEAN countries, as well as with Japan and the ROK will be further strengthened. Through tourism cooperation with ASEAN, Japan and the ROK, the growing demands of Harbin citizens could be met and the social consumption could be upgraded. He hoped that this Promotion would open a new era to forge a stronger connection and build an effective mechanism to promote tourism cooperation in the region.
Ms. Kong Roatlomang mentioned that it is important that the tourism industry practitioners are placed in a good position by forging strong partnerships between government and the industry to develop collective efforts to further promote the competitiveness of tourism destination. Tourism is becoming a dynamic and resilient industry, as quality tourism and new tourism products have been core factors for the vigorous growth of the industry and contributed significantly to the sustainable tourism development and inclusive growth. It is necessary for Harbin to embrace new opportunity, tap new potential and inject new impetus to tourism collaboration and make active contribution to achieving the goal of building leisure vacation and quality tourism destination.
Mr. Ishizuka Hideki introduced the current situation of tourism exchanges between Japan and China. He commended the effective involvement of the local government in the promotion of tourism cooperation. Japan is actively promoting tourism cooperation and exchanges with China through various platforms and activities. 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. This will be a new opportunity for both sides to expand cooperation and lift bilateral friendly exchanges to a new level.
In the presentation session, the participants presented keys tourism destinations, highlighted the needs to strengthen collaboration and enhanced synergies between tourism, culture and nature to advance the sustainable tourism development in the region. The participants engaged in active interaction and had in-depth discussions.