Focus on mountain tourism sustainability IMTA 2019 Annual Conference takes place in Guiyang

October 30 17:55 2019

From 27 to 29 October, the 2019 Annual Conference of the International Mountain Tourism Alliance (IMTA) opened at IMTA’s newly-inaugurated headquarters building in Shuanglong Airport Economic Zone, Guiyang. Present were Dominique de Villepin, former French Prime Minister and President of IMTA; Lu Yongzheng, Vice Governor of the Guizhou Provincial People’s Government; Shao Qiwei, former Director of the China National Tourism Administration; He Yafei, former Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council and Secretary General of IMTA; Pansy Ho Chiu-king, Vice Chairwoman and Secretary General of the Global Tourism Economy Forum; Frangialli Francesco, Honorary Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization; Mario Hardy, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association. Among over 400 attendees were members, new applicants, international organizations, destination administrations, relevant institutions, tourism experts and scholars, as well as journalists.

With the theme “Joining hands to build a community of shared future for sustainable mountain tourism”, with focus on major issues such as ecology, green, environmental protection, poverty reduction and innovation, the conference will explore a path for the sustainable development of world mountain tourism in a global context, and provide case reference and theoretical guidance for practices of sustainable mountain tourism.

At 9 AM 28 October, the Inaugural Ceremony of the IMTA Headquarters took place. Shao Qiwei and Chen Yan, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Guiyang Municipal Committee and Mayor of the Guiyang Municipal People’s Government, delivered addresses; Dominique de Villepin, Lu Yongzheng, Shao Qiwei, He Yafei, Pansy Ho Chiu-king, Frangialli Francesco, Chen Yan and Zhang Yuguang, Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Guizhou Province cut the ribbon for the ceremony.

At the ensuing Opening Ceremony, Dominique de Villepin delivered a keynote speech entitled “Economic Globalization and Prospect of World Mountain Tourism”; He Yafei delivered the IMTA 2019 Work Report; Dominique de Villepin, Shao Qiwei and He Yafei presented certificates to new members. Shao Qiwei hosted the opening ceremony.

Apart from the Opening Ceremony, the conference also includes the IMTA Council Meeting, the Inaugural Ceremony of IMTA’s Headquarters and the Theme Forum. The Theme Forum focused on the theme of “Joining hands to build a community of shared future for sustainable mountain tourism”. International organizations, members, renowned experts, as well as cultural, tourism and sports circles discussed hot issues such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, poverty alleviation through mountain tourism, environmental protection and green development, and the new trend of integrated development of culture, tourism, sports and health preservation.

At the Theme Forum, He Yafei delivered a speech entitled “International Organizations Should Play Important Roles in the Pattern of Global Governance”; Mario Hardy aired views on “New Environment, New Opportunities and New Challenges for Sustainable Tourism”; Pansy Ho Chiu-king delivered a speech entitled “Trend of Asian Tourism: Better Life through Sustainable Mountain Tourism”; Serge Koenig, an official from France’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and an expert at mountain sports, made a presentation on the research progress of the Report on Development Trend of World Mountain Tourism; Zhou Li from Trier University of Applied Sciences delivered a keynote speech entitled “Measures for Destination Environment Management-Towards Sustainable Tourism”; Laurent Vana, Chief Editor of the International Report on Snow & Mountain Tourism, delivered a keynote speech entitled “Mountain Activities: From Skiing to Four Seasons”.

Other activities during the conference include the “Belt and Road” Mountain Tourism Exchange and Cooperation Conference, the 2019 IMTA Annual Exhibition and Walk across Shuanglong Ecological Park & Ecological Sports Park.

The “Belt and Road” Mountain Tourism Exchange and Cooperation Conference aimed to promote mountain tourism exchanges and cooperation between Belt and Road countries, advance industry interaction and resource integration, and achieve win-win. Present were members, industrial representatives from Belt and Road countries, representatives from mountain tourism destinations, OTA representatives and representatives from some travel agencies in Guizhou.

2019 IMTA Annual Exhibition is the first IMTA member exhibition held during the annual conference to build a professional platform for members’ brand promotion, production sales and channel development. It covers domestic and foreign tourism organizations and institutions, mountain tourism attractions, mountain sports products, cultural and creative tourism products, intangible cultural heritage products, tourism derivative products, smart mountain tourism, tourism + industry chain, mountain tourism destinations, research, as well as academic and industrial institutions.

IMTA is a non-governmental and non-profit international organization initiated by Guizhou Province, and constituted by tourism institutions, groups, enterprises and individuals in key mountain countries and regions in the world on a voluntary basis. Currently it has 155 groups and individual members from 30 countries and regions in five continents, with the headquarters in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, and a liaison office in Beijing.

Guided by the goal of protecting mountain resources, preserving mountain civilization, developing the mountain economy and benefiting mountainous people, IMTA is committed to promoting international exchanges and business cooperation in tourism, summarizing and extending the successful experience of developing mountain tourism, and promoting the sustainable development of mountain and ecological tourism.

Since its founding in August 2017, IMTA has kept seeking breakthrough in all aspects. Particularly, since 2018, IMTA has achieved remarkable results in headquarters building construction, international exchanges and cooperation, member service and academic research.

At the IMTA 2018 Annual Conference, the “Dialogue among Famous Mountains in the World” became a highlight and a brand of IMTA. The initiative to establish “International Mountain Tourism Day” gained unanimous approval from members, giving a new meaning to every 29 May. Phased results were achieved in field survey, sampling, data collection, analysis and argumentation during the compilation of the Report on Development Trend of World Mountain Tourism.

According to He Yafei, in 2020, with member service as the center and strengthening platform construction as the focus, IMTA will improve its professional and internationalization level, and provide members with services such as industry information, exchange & cooperation and platform integration.

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