"Chengdu is one of China's most dynamic and passionate cities," UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said on September 11 at the pre-meeting of the 22nd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu.
The 22nd Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly will officially open in Chengdu on Sept.13. As a conference of the highest caliber in the global tourism industry, the event is held once every two years. This year marks the first time it sets foot in western China. The world is waiting to see how Chengdu will attract tourists from across the globe.
Raifi revealed that Chengdu will see a high level debate on tourism and the Sustainable Development goals, as well as a session on the possibilities of smart tourism during the meeting.
The decision to hold the meeting in China's Chengdu is not made by chance, according to Mr. Rafai, "While China is bound to become the biggest player in outbound and inbound tourism, it is also recognized that the Chinese are the largest in spending on holidays." He added that the UNWTO and Chengdu have profound relationship in the past years, "That's why we chose the city as the venue (of the event)."
Chengdu has been jointly named the Best Tourism City in China by the UNWTO and China National Tourism Administration, and has also been named as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. In January of this year, Chengdu was listed as one of the world's 21 must-see travel destinations of 2017 by National Geographic Traveler, being the only Chinese city on the honor roll.
"Chengdu is one of the most dynamic and passionate cities in China," said Taleb Rifai, "The people here are vigorous and the street is full of lights at night. And the food here is very good, I can testify it."
"I believe that Chengdu's tourism industry will have a big change after this event," he declared.