From 6 to 9 September 2018, the 5th Sichuan International Travel Expo was held in Leshan City, Sichuan Province. Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), attended the event.
On 7 September, the opening of the Expo was announced by Mr Yin Li, Deputy Secretary of CPC Sichuan Provincial Committee and Governor of Sichuan Province. Vice Governor Yang Hongbo of Sichuan Province, Secretary-General Chen Dehai of ACC, Minister Rabindra Adhikari of National Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, and representatives of relevant diplomatic missions, international organizations, associations and enterprises in China attended the event.
Secretary-General Chen Dehai said in his speech that tourism cooperation has always been an important part of ASEAN-China relations and ASEAN countries have become the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists. In 2017, 50 million visits were made by tourists from China and ASEAN countries to each other, including nearly 28 million visits by Chinese tourists to ASEAN and more than 21 million visits by ASEAN tourists to China. 2018 is the 15th anniversary of ASEAN-China strategic partnership and ASEAN-China Year of Innovation. China and ASEAN are deepening practical cooperation in various fields. The two sides have reached consensus on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, which will set the direction for ASEAN-China relations and open up broad prospects for tourism cooperation between the two sides. ACC will continue to play the role of a one-stop information and activities centre, tap the potentials for tourism cooperation and promote practical cooperation through jointly producing tourism documentaries, carrying out tourism capacity building projects and Chinese language training courses for ASEAN tour guides.
Vice Governor Yang Hongbo said that the Sichuan provincial party committee and government attach great importance to tourism industry and are committed to promoting in-depth integration of tourism and culture to make Sichuan a competitive tourist destination in the world. In the first half of this year, Sichuan Province achieved a total tourism revenue of RMB 527.151 billion, up by 15.1 % year on year. The number of inbound and domestic visits was 1.398 million and 401 million respectively, up by 5.1 % and 5.6 % year on year. Tourism has become the fastest growing pillar industry with greatest potentials in the tertiary industry.
Party Secretary Peng Lin of Leshan City said that Leshan, as a famous national historical and cultural city with rich tourism resources, would focus on deepening tourism development based on the concept of “developing the city by strengthening tourism industry”, speed up efforts to build Leshan into a global tourism destination by opening up in a comprehensive and multifaceted way, so as to make contributions to making Sichuan as a strong tourism province.
Chairman Chris Baucher of the Asia-Pacific Tourism Association said that as the focus of global tourism is shifting eastward, the development of Chinese tourism will enjoy a more favorable international environment. China has become the world’s largest outbound tourist market for many years. The rapid growth of Chinese tourism industry has become the driving force for global tourism development. As a forerunner in tourism development, the Chinese tourism industry has made great contributions to the world tourism industry.
On the afternoon of 7 September, Secretary-General Chen Dehai also attended the Emei Summit Forum and witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements on friendly cities, friendly scenic spots and Sichuan tourism projects.
As a supporting organization, ACC participated in the Travel Expo and set up a booth, which was widely welcomed and praised.