Wang Qishan Attends the Opening Ceremony of China-Russia Tourism Cooperation Forum
On March 24, 2012, Wang Qishan, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairman of the Organizing Committee for Russia Tourism Year and China Tourism Year on the Chinese side and Vladislav Surkov, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for Russia Tourism Year and China Tourism Year on the Russian side attended and addressed the opening ceremony of China-Russia Tourism Cooperation Forum.
Wang Qishan said in his address that in recent years the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation has maintained a sound momentum of development and the bilateral cooperation in various fields including politics, economy, energy, science, technology, culture and people-to-people exchanges, is moving forward smoothly. China and Russia are both big tourism countries and the bilateral cooperation in tourism has yielded fruitful results, with cooperation mechanism being improved, personnel exchanges seeing rapid growth and the tourism industry flourishing. China is the second largest source of tourists for Russia and Russia has become China's third largest source of tourists.
Wang Qishan said that China and Russia are rich in tourism resources and both have profound historical and cultural heritages and exotic and colorful natural landscapes. Tourism cooperation between the two sides is facing unprecedented opportunities for development. The Chinese government has identified the tourism industry as a strategic pillar industry and is promoting the transformation of development mode of the industry, which will open wider to the outside world. China will strive to strengthen the building of both the "soft" and "hard" environment and improve the quality and level of tourism services. The Russian government is also vigorously developing the tourism industry through a series of measures such as improving infrastructure, improving service system, and setting up special tourism economic zones. Both China and Russia should play their respective advantages, strengthen exchanges and cooperation and turn tourism cooperation into a new highlight in China-Russia strategic cooperation. The two sides should take the Russia Tourism Year and China Tourism Year as an opportunity to mobilize the enthusiasm of the enterprises and the public and bring the number of tourists to each other to 5 million person times respectively by 2015. The two sides should further expand the opening of tourism market, support and encourage competitive enterprises to invest in the tourist industry of the other country. The two sides should enhance tourism exchanges between the youths and pass the torch of China-Russia friendship from generation to generation. The two sides should strengthen communication and coordination on border tourism and expand local tourism cooperation. The two sides should explore ways to improve tourism investment and financing, marketing and promotion, intermediary services, security guarantee and other cooperation mechanisms and upgrade the development of tourism cooperation to a higher level.
Surkov said that the "Russia Tourism Year" is an important event for Russia-China bilateral relations this year and it will create a good atmosphere for deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between Russia and China. It will enable the Chinese people to gain a broad understanding of the history, culture and natural beauty of Russia and feel the warm hospitality of the Russian people. It will bring the relations between the two peoples even closer. Russia hopes that through the tourism cooperation forum, the two sides could make a comprehensive review of the status of bilateral tourism cooperation so as to further promote such cooperation. The two countries may strengthen awareness-raising efforts and improve visa policies to facilitate travel, and enhance the competence of tourism professionals. The two sides should strengthen local tourism cooperation, further develop youth tourism exchange programs, and strengthen safety protection of tourists. Russia welcomes more Chinese tourists to travel to Russia and looks forward to seeing more investment from Chinese entrepreneurs in the Russian tourism industry.
There were nearly 1000 participants from various communities attending the forum.