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October 19, 2017

The role of tourism in reducing poverty discussed at UNWTO Workshop in China


The power of tourism to induce poverty reduction and development constituted the main focus of the UNWTO Workshop held in Guangdong, China. The workshop was conducted under the framework of the agreement signed between UNWTO and the Chimelong Group in 2016 designed to support sustainable tourism and wildlife protection through tourism.

Raising awareness on the relevance of the tourism sector in the reduction of poverty and promoting knowledge sharing on best practices constitute the major objectives of the Workshop for Poverty Reduction and Tourism Development held in Guangdong. The event takes place in a highly relevant momentum as 2017 is celebrated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, a global campaign lead by UNWTO.

“Guangdong, one of the top economic hubs in China, is one of the best examples of what is happening in China in terms of the links between development and tourism and therefore it is a perfect location to conduct this event” said UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai.

“We sincerely appreciate the agreement with UNWTO that includes a number of initiatives in the field of sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation, which are very much in line with our philosophy ‘Wherever Chimelong goes, the happiness follows’ as our CEO, Su Zhigang highlights,” said Chen Wancheng, President of Guangdong Chimelong Group.

Accounting for 6.3% of GDP, tourism is one of the most important sectors in Guangdong. The province receives more than 300 million domestic tourists annually and around 35 million international tourists.

The workshop included case studies from the UNWTO ST-EP Project Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme, the UNWTO Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories and from activities conducted by Chimelong in the Guangdong Province. Representatives of Provincial Tourist Authorities and Provincial Tourism Organizations, in particular from the Guangdong Province, stakeholders from the private sector and Chinese NGOs attended the event.

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