The 2014 WTTC Global Summit, the world’s highest profile event for the travel and tourism sector, opened yesterday in Haitang Bay, drawing about 580 overseas company leaders and tourism officials from 62 different countries and regions.

Jiang Dingzhi, the Governor of Hainan Province, met with Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), David Scowsill, chief executive and president of WTTC, as well as other organizing committee authorities.

According to Jiang Dingzhi, as China’s only tropical island province and largest special economic zone, Hainan is famous for its excellent natural environment, beautiful tropical island scenery, multitude of tourist services and great resort facilities, and is also well known as a great place for healthy living.

At the end of 2009, the State Council of China issued a decree that Hainan was to become a world-class international tourist destination by 2020.

Hainan has boosted its tourism following the central government’s announcement of its strategic policy to transform the province into an international tourism island. Last year, the level of tourist arrivals and tourism revenue both have seen stable growth, with a year-on-year increase of 10%.

Taleb Rifai said UNWTO is considering opening its 7th observatory on sustainable tourism in Hainan, which will bring opportunities for the island and its tourism to promote competitiveness and enhance its international influence.

According to David Scowsill, chief executive and president of WTTC, Hainan is clearly well on track to reach its goal to become a world-class international tourism hotspot by 2020.

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