And Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park showed clearly that it is one of the leaders in China in terms of grassroots responsible tourism development.
According to the Director of Jiuzhaigou National Park Administration, ZHANG Xiaoping, who is also Deputy President of the CPPCC Aba Prefectural Committee, the focus on developing sustainable, responsible tourism to Jiuzhaigou Valley over the past three years has helped to attract some three million tourists and generate one billion Yuan in revenues, contributing to boosting the region’s economic growth by 13 per cent.
“The travel and tourism industry plays a key role in economic development, job creation and people-to-people communications between the respective countries,” said Mr. MA Mingqiang, Secretary-General of the ASEAN-China Centre. “Statistics from China National Tourism Administration show that, in 2012, mainland Chinese travellers made a total of 9.7 million visits to ASEAN Member States, while ASEAN Member States in turn made 5.9 million visits to China.”
“On behalf of PATA, I would like to say how especially honoured and delighted we are to have the opportunity of discussing responsible tourism practices with such experts in the field,” said Mr. Supernaw, “and not least Dato’ Sri Dr.. Ng Yen Yen, Chair of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, whose dedication to sustainable tourism development and promotion in her own country serves as a best practice example to the rest of the Asia Pacific region.”
“We need to keep the sustainability message simple and achievable for both small and big businesses,” said Stewart Moore, CEO of EC3 Global. “Tourism as an industry has a tendency to over complicate what is a very simple concept – that is taking incremental steps to reduce the amount of energy, water and waste we create.”
Among the different case studies presented, which included the story of the making of a young social entrepreneur from Hong Kong, Freddy Law, CEO of Inter Cultural Education (ICE), panel discussions highlighting CSR practice among some of China’s leading entrepreneurs, and some innovative education and training experiences, there was clear consensus on the need for metrics and measurement in order to manage effectively and to ensure sustainable tourism.
This year’s Forum, organised immediately prior to PATA’s Board and Committee meetings and Travel Mart in Chengdu, brought together more than 150 delegates from the country’s public and private sectors, including academic staff and students from educational institutes, as well as national and international experts in the field of responsible tourism.
A full report of the 3rd China Responsible Tourism Forum, in both English and Mandarin, will be posted soon on www.PATAchina.org and www.PATA.org