“China-EU Tourism Year” Ceremoniously Launched in Venice
Congratulatory Messages arrived from Li Keqiang, Jean-Claude Juncker, Antonio Tajani, Paolo Gentiloni Silveri. Qi Xuchun attended and addressed the opening ceremony.
On the morning of January 19, 2018 (local time), the 2018 China-EU Tourism Year was ceremoniously launched at the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy. Li Keqiang, Premier of China’s State Council, EU Chief Jean-Claude Juncker, Antonio Tajani, President of European Parliament and Paolo Gentiloni Silveri, Prime Minister of Italy sent congratulatory messages to the opening ceremony. Qi Xuchun, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, read aloud Premier Li’s message and made a speech. El?bieta Bieńkowska, a member of the European Commission, Du Jiang, Vice Chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Bulgaria's Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova, and Dorina Bianchi, Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Italy, respectively delivered speeches.
Premier Li said in the message that China and Europe are located at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road and have a long history of dialogue between civilizations. Today, China and Europe are making efforts to develop partnerships of peace, growth, reform and civilization, and to comprehensively implement the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation; two sides are also working jointly to dock the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with Europe's development strategy, and that bilateral relations are now enjoying new development opportunities, he said.
Tourism is not only an important bridge to conduct civilization exchanges and promote people-to-people friendship, but also an emerging industry to boost economic growth, Li noted, saying China and Europe are rich in tourism resources and have a broad prospect for cooperation. Li expressed the hope that the two sides will take the China-EU Tourism Year as an opportunity to actively expand cooperation in tourism and personnel exchanges, promote a dialogue between civilizations and people-to-people bonds, and push forward common development and the mutually beneficial and win-win situation to inject fresh momentum into the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership in a new era.
Jean-Claude Juncker indicated the launch of China-EU Tourism Year opens a new chapter in China-Europe partnership, he believed the event will achieve great success, and he looked forward to conducting all-round cooperation with China.
Antonio Tajani said Venice is an ancient city with a long history and the terminal of the ancient Silk Road. Ever since ancient times Venice has been functioning as a vital bridge between China and Europe, so it holds special significance to hold the China-EU Tourism Year here in Venice.
Paolo Gentiloni Silveri wished the 2018 China-EU Tourism Year a complete success, and he welcomed more and more Chinese tourists to Italy where quality tourism services shall be provided.
Qi Xuchun, in his speech, quoted H.E. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s remarks, “Tourism is an important channel of communication and exchange among countries and cultures; it is an effective means to develop the economy and increase employment, and an important industry to improve people’s livelihood.” He said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s congratulatory message to the event marks that the Chinese government attaches great important to China-EU tourism cooperation. We are ready to take the event as an opportunity to foster the China-EU partnerships of peace, growth, reform and civilization.
At the opening ceremony, Qi Xuchun and El?bieta Bieńkowska jointly kicked off China-EU Tourism Year.
Du Jiang, on behalf of CNTA and CNTA Chairman Li Jinzao as well as Chinese tourism community, wished the opening ceremony a success. He said the launch of the event is an important consensus reached between the leaders of China and EU; it is not only a response to the demand of the times, but also an aspiration of the people on both sides. Du Jiang proposed that under the framework of the tourism year, the two sides should further facilitate people’s travel, expand tourism exchanges, give play to the brand effect of the tourism year, continuously enrich the tourism cooperation, improve the tourism cooperation mechanism, and contribute to the China-EU partnership building.
Altogether over 600 distinguished guests from China and EU attended the opening ceremony, including the representatives of the CNTA, Chinese Mission to the EU, Chinese embassy in Italy, China’s local tourism departments and tourism communities, along with those from the European Commission, European Parliament and related tourism departments of EU, leaders of the Italian government and tourism community.