Born in China, the World Tourism Alliance emerges as a major new force to guide the industry

The World Tourism Alliance (WTA) has been created as a global, non-government, non-pro t international tourism organisation. Its membership covers national tourism associations, influential tourism businesses, academia, cities and media, as well as heads of international organizations, former political leaders, retired tourism officials, heads of tourism businesses and renowned scholars. Its headquarters and Secretariat are located in China.

Upholding the vision of “Better Tourism, Better World, Better Life” as its ultimate goal, the WTA is “committed to promoting tourism for peace, development and poverty-reduction based on mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual support and win-win outcome”.

In an official announcement, Li Jinzao, Chairman of China’s National Tourism Administration and founder of the Alliance, said that the WTA aims to provide professional services to its members by setting up platforms of dialogue, exchanges and cooperation for business match-making and experience sharing and be open to cooperation with international organizations to promote global tourism. It will establish high-level tourism research institutions and consultancies to study the trend of international tourism development and to collect, analyse and release global and regional tourism data. It will provide planning, policy-making consultancy and professional training for governments and businesses. It will set up a mechanism of reciprocity among its members to share tourism markets and resources and engage in tourism promotional activities. By holding annual meetings, summits, expos and other events, it will facilitate exchanges and cooperation between government and private sector, to advance integrated development of the international tourism with other industries.

According to Li Jinzao, for present- day tourism, five major factors have become indispensable: governments, enterprises, industrial associations, think tanks and tourists. These five elements are irreplaceable, playing unique roles in their own ways.

The effects of the five factors would be crippled, if they were isolated and worked in their own ways. To integrate the five factors means we will have to work on a new platform. The new platform is exactly the World Tourism Alliance (WTA). It is the responsibility and function as well as the founding principle of the WTA to integrate the five factors and optimise them on the basis of the integration. Hence, be it the governments, enterprises, associations, think tanks or tourists, every entity will find its place on the platform of the WTA and voice its opinions. We hope that tourism cities and enterprises, associations, think tanks and tourists can make good use of the platform and engage in mutual learning.

Photos: Li Jinzao, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration and founder of the World Tourism Alliance (left), with Gerard Lefebvre, President of Cleverdis (publisher of the Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport), at the launch of the WTA – on the occasion of the 22nd general assembly of the UNWTO in Chengdu, China.