Responsible Tourism Forum in China

Responsible tourism forum in China

The second PATA China Responsible Tourism & China-ASEAN Tourism Development Forum concluded in Shanghai November 16 with 152 participants, up from 130 who attended the first forum on December 16, 2011.

Run in partnership with the ASEAN-China Centre and with the support and endorsement of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the forum operated under the theme of 'Sustainable Innovation, Sustainable Travel, and Sustainable Business'. The forum introduced a number of practical applications and concepts to the audience.

All delegates interacted with international experts to debate various issues relating to responsible tourism. These included from the "7 Greens" program on the island of Samui in Thailand, new tourist farming practices on Chongming Island in the Yangtze River Delta, best practices in responsible tourism in ASEAN, and CSR activities in Greater China.

The question of what can China learn from the world and what can the world learn from China was vigorously debated. It led to some critical observations. One of which was the recognition that "authenticity" means something very different to the Chinese domestic traveller compared to that of the foreign visitor. Marketing therefore needs careful consideration if it is to be successful.

At the forum, the next generation of tourism professionals from universities across China, had their chance to say something about responsible tourism. They submitted ideas and opinions to forum attendees in the form of video clips and short presentations as part of the PATA China Young Tourism Professional Challenge. Sun Yat-sen University won both the Champions' and Audience's choice votes.

Ms Kate Change, PATA Director for Greater China, said, ‘It is heartening to see so many students accept our challenge and deliver such high quality presentations to the judges. Despite an extremely tight deadline and a very tough brief, we received 46 applications from universities across China. It shows that interest in responsible and sustainable tourism runs high in our youth.’

Another highlight of the forum was the China Responsible Tourism Awards, which PATA introduced this year. The final nominations were announced during the forum. The winners will be announced in early 2013. PATA members and industry practitioners are encouraged to cast their votes on from December 1, 2012 to showcase the best practices in responsible tourism from all over China.

About PATA

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism within the Asia Pacific region. This year, PATA is proud to celebrate 60 dynamic years of developing responsible tourism.

In partnership with private and public sector members, PATA enhances the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to-from-and-within, the region. The Association provides leadership and counsel on an individual and collective basis to over 80 government, state and city tourism bodies; nearly 50 international airlines, airports and cruise lines and many hundreds of travel industry companies across the Asia Pacific region and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to 39 active PATA chapters worldwide and participate in a wide range of PATA and industry events. PATA's Strategic Intelligence Centre (SIC) offers unrivalled data and insights including Asia Pacific inbound and outbound statistics, analyses and forecasts as well as in-depth reports on strategic tourism markets.

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For more on responsible tourism in China see our article Hainan Island: From exile to idyll

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