Hainan stands out at WTTC 11th Global Travel & Tourism Summit
The tropical island that is the southernmost point of China was represented by a delegation of 20 out of the total of over 60 representatives from China.
‘The strong participation of Hainan Province is extremely welcome,’ said David Scowsill, WTTC President and CEO.
The Hainan delegation at the Summit was led by Chen Feng, WTTC member and Chairman of the HNA Group, a multi-industry enterprise operating in aviation, logistics, hotels, real estate and retail.
In the last year, China’s tropical Hainan Island has seen rapid investment and development in tourism infrastructure as part of the Chinese Government’s 10-year plan to make the island a top international tourism destination by 2020.
The plan has already had huge impacts on the island, with tourism revenue reaching 9.205 billion yuan (AUD$1.347 billion) in the first quarter of 2011, a 6.8% increase compared with last year.
Visitor traffic to the island in the first quarter of this year reached a total of 7.76 million, a year-on-year increase of 5.1%.
7.57 million of these were domestic tourists from Mainland China, who brought 8.512 billion yuan of tourist income, an increase of 6% compared to 2010. 189,500 foreign tourists, mostly from the Asian region, Europe and Russia, brought US$98.3 million, a year-on-year increase of 18.9%.
These figures have sparked a growing interest in Hainan within the WTTC and the global tourism sector, particularly amongst hospitality investors and management companies.
Reflecting the Hainan People’s Government’s acknowledgement of the WTTC’s role in promoting tourism, Tan Li, representing the Hainanese delegation, confirmed a nomination of WTTC Vice Chairman, former President and CEO Jean-Claude Baumgarten to chair the Tourism International Advisory Board of Hainan Province, at a ceremony in Las Vegas during the Summit.
‘I am very honoured to accept this invitation, as this is the first time that a non-Chinese from the world of travel and tourism has been honoured in such a way by the Hainan Peoples Government’ said Baumgarten.
The WTTC is an international organization consisting of CEOs of the world’s leading travel and tourism companies as its members. The Council overviews all matters related to travel and tourism, working to raise awareness of the industry as one of the largest worldwide. According to the WTTC website, the travel and tourism industry supports more than 258 million jobs and generates 9.1% of world GDP.
‘WTTC had been working closely with the Hainan Tourism Development Commission on a study to assess the province’s tourism performance, as well as to forecast its travel and tourism development and investment potential over the next 10 years,’ Scowsill said.
The study is due to be completed in a couple of months. Commissioning the study will contribute to the development of Hainan’s reputation as an international tourism destination.