UNWTO Commits to Shanghai’s Pursuit of Excellence in Tourism

UNWTO Commits to Shanghai’s Pursuit of Excellence in Tourism

UNWTO’s Executive Director for Member Relations and Services – Zoltan Somogyi and Dao Shuming – the Chairman of Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Shanghai on 14th September 2012 to build on the foundation of collaboration that had been laid earlier this year through a letter of understanding.

Shanghai and UNWTO have enjoyed a long-standing cooperation over the years in the organization of and participation in each other’s tourism events. The MOU is thus aimed at streamlining and defining the parameters of the collaboration in the promotion of tourism development, event organization and human resources development.

The importance both parties attach to this MOU was demonstrated by signing it within the framework of the International Symposium on Mega-events and Tourism which they organized jointly as a prelude to Shanghai’s Tourism Festival – an event that has been organized for over 20 years.

Shanghai epitomizes a harmonious blend of the East and the West. It is a vibrant world class destination which boasts natural charm and many years of expertise in the hosting of both international and domestic events. This stood it in good stead to compete favourably and successfully as the host of 2010 World EXPO.

Despite its proven experience in the organization of mega-events, Shanghai co-organised this Symposium in a bid to cater to its quest for excellence as well as the aim to position itself as a world destination and a point of reference for mega-events. Vice-Mayor Zhao Wen was very emphatic about these objectives when she met with UNWTO’s Executive Director Somogyi at Shanghai Muncipal Hall prior to the Symposium.

The case studies on Barcelona’s hosting of the 1992 Olympics and South Africa’s 2010 World Cup presented at the Symposium sought to provide Shanghai’s tourism administrations and travel trade insight into the power of mega-events in stimulating and enhancing the tourism industry and economy of the host destination. Participants were also apprised of strategies for positioning countries and cities as long-term mega-events destinations.