On 04 March 2022, the thematic webinar on Tourism & Culture in Green and Digital Transition was successfully held as a part of the IURC China thematic cluster working session, aiming to share how cities and regions achieve green and digital transformation and resilience of the tourism & culture sector and discuss how EU-China cooperation can help them to reach the goals.
The thematic webinar brought together the urban and regional stakeholders to exchange best practices and lessons learned in the culture and tourism sector, placing special emphasis on sustainable and innovative development in culture and tourism. It explored new opportunities for the EU and China urban and regional partnerships to enhance COVID recovery and build resilience for the future. The webinar was addressed to policy stakeholders, representatives of the tourism sector, academia and professional associations from the European and Chinese cities and regions. The session was moderated by Ms. FENG Keru from IURC China
Mr. Frank Schmiedel, First Counsellor of the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) in EU Delegation to China, delivered the opening speech, highlighting the successful events in the EU-China Tourism Year (2018), which provided an opportunity to increase visitors’ flows and investments in both EU and China, and the European Union´s “Transition Pathway for Tourism” which aims to overcome the challenges for the green and digital transition, to increase resilience, and to boost global competitiveness. “Europe and China both have the long-standing cultural and culinary experience to discover and to share. There is no better way to overcome prejudice and expand the mind than to travel and to share. We need this more than ever” underlined Mr. Schmiedel.
Ms. WANG Qian, the team leader of IURC China, delivered the welcome speeches. She stressed the importance of culture and tourism in the economic sector and reviewed the training session (03 March 2022) on the context of the tourism industry in China. “As the first thematic webinar in 2022, we hope it will successfully lay a foundation for cooperation between the European and Chinese cities and regions.”
The Panel I is on the Green and Digital Transition in Tourism. The distinguished panellists, Mr. ZHU Xiaoqing from Yangzhou, Mr. Jan Sienkiewicz from Bielsko-Biała, Ms. WANG Rui from Beijing, Ms. Laura Argyropoulou from Ioannina, Mr. LU Qiansheng from Chengdu, Ms. Raquel Aguado Muñeos from the Region of Valencia, and Mr. WANG Mingyao from Kunming, elaborated on the good practices of innovative sustainable development in tourism and culture sectors with diverse cultural, natural, architectural and historical resources, as well as on the potential cooperation areas that emerged enabling new partnerships, joint projects and strategic dialogues at urban and regional levels.
In continuation, the Panel II on Balance between Tourism, Cultural Heritage, and Creativity, was joint by the distinguished panellists Ms. Flavia Ramil from Santiago, Mr. YU Jidong from Haikou, Mr. Marino Cavallo from Nuovo Circondario Imolese of Bologna, Mr. MO Yuqing from Liuzhou, Mr. Spyros Papaspyrou from the Region of West Greece, Mr. LI Mingwei from Zhengzhou, Mr. Kasper van Hout from Murcia, and Mr. Giovanni Biagi from the Lazio Region, talked about the importance of cultural heritage in the tourism services and products and highlighted best practices of creative tools developed as a method to mitigate the negative impact of the outbreak on the sector and as innovation for the cultural tourism development.
Closing the thematic webinar, Ms. WANG Qian identified the key points and priorities for tourism that emerged during the webinar by the distinguished panellists and participants. She suggested the next steps for more synergies among the cities and regions from the EU and China.