Following the success of the Beijing Tourism Image Campaign activities in Wellington and Auckland in 2016, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development visited New Zealand again on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The 2017 Beijing Tourism Promotion Meeting, themed “Charming Beijing” was held in Christchurch, the largest city in the southern island of New Zealand on May 20.
Yu Debin, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, and Jin Zhijian, Consul General of Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Christchurch attended the event and delivered remarks. Vic Allen, CEO of Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) for the Canterbury region, Huangyan, General Manager of Christchurch office of China Southern Airlines, Scott Callaway, General Manager of Trade Development and Sales Department of Christchurch International Airport, representatives of the local tourism industry, mainstream media and local residents attended the event.
Although Christchurch is far away from Beijing, with the opening of the visa policy between the two countries, more and more local people have shown interest in Beijing and China. In order to expand the influence, a series of warm-up activities have been carried out, such as the caravan advertising cruises in major streets of Christchurch and extensive publicity in local newspapers and social platforms. The Activity, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, has received enthusiastic responses and attracted over 1,000 participators. Chinese-featured cultural performances and improvisation with Chinese elements by local orchestras, reflect the integration of different cultures, and show closer contact between the local people and Chinese culture. Local people who have participated in the event said it has deepened their understanding about Beijing and China. Many children also showed their excitement in the shadow puppetry and panda toys on site.
A business class air ticket offered by China Southern Airlines and Beijing boutique courtyard hotel accommodation offered by Beijing Golden Tide Group were presented as prizes for lucky draw, in order to boost the influence and product sales of Chinese tourism enterprises. At the same time, the flexible action by Alpha, the smart dancing robot debuted in 2017 CCTV's Spring Festival Gala, has attracted great attention. This new scientific and technological element also embodies the idea of Beijing as a science and technology innovation center.
Mr. Yu visited Andrew Hunter, Vice Mayor of Christchurch, and Jin Zhijian, Consul General of Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Christchurch respectively on the morning of May 19. They had in-depth discussions on tourism exchanges and cultural cooperation between the two sides with the help of the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism and 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Mr. Yu also introduced the latest situation of the World Tourism Cities Federation initiated by Beijing and discussed the matter to make Christchurch as a city member with them.
The Beijing tourism promotion meeting coincided with the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing. As one of the pivotal countries in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, New Zealand leaders also participated the forum. The Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development will positively respond and promote tourism cooperation and exchanges of countries along the route of Belt and Road Initiative under the platform of tourism.
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