Tourism authorities share pandemic stories
A forum on international cooperation in culture and tourism was held during the third China International Import Expo on Friday, with overseas governments and Chinese authorities sharing the measures they had taken to counter the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme of the Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation in Culture and Tourism Industries was “new opportunities.”
Officials from Argentina’s Ministry of Culture, Thailand’s tourism authority and the Greek consulate were among those who spoke about how the pandemic had affected their countries and the effective measures governments had taken to tackle the challenges and ensure tourism resumed.
The forum, hosted by the National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shanghai) and China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd, aimed to fuel the economic recovery and resumption of cultural trade, promote international cooperation in the cultural and tourism industries and explore new opportunities for industry development, organizers said.
"The Belt and Road Initiative injects new vitality into the cultural and tourism development of Belt and Road countries," said Ma Feng, deputy director of the industry development department of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
"Belt and Road countries have become important partners in China's international cooperation in the cultural and tourism sectors," Ma said.
"Cultural and tourism industries are among the worst-hit by the pandemic, and it is important to help companies in these industries get through the pandemic," Ma said. "Cooperation is the key.”
"Digital is the future trend of cultural and tourism industries and is important in boosting recovery of the industries under the pandemic," said Jin Lei, deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.
"Relying on new technologies such as big data, Internet of Things and cloud computing, Shanghai is cultivating new online intelligent cultural and tourism business models, fueling the city's construction as an international cultural metropolis and an internationally famous touritm destination," said Jin.
Cloud exhibitions, cloud performances and webcasts hosted in the city during the pandemic had achieved good results, he said.
"Shanghai's cultural and tourism companies are actively following the trend of digital development, and the city authorities are providing necessary services and support for them to satisfy the growing demand of the public in culture and tourism," he said.
"It is no secret that tourism and culture were the worst-hit industries by the pandemic worldwide," said Petros Tsarouchis, of the Consulate General of Greece in Shanghai.
"In order to offset the reduced influx of foreign tourists, Greece decided to boost domestic tourism through the 'Tourism for All Program 2020' which is meant to create the necessary revenue for small and medium-sized enterprises and their employees by issuing holiday e-vouchers to eligible Greek households, which has proved to be useful.”
Another program called "Bridge" was launched in the country based on labor support, tax cuts and entrepreneurship stimulus, he said.
During the forum, domestic companies and agencies in culture, tourism and relevant industries discussed the development of digital culture and tourism under the pandemic, sharing experiences in using digital technology to boost cultural and tourism consumption.