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Tourism body begins annual meet in Rabat

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2015-09-23 10:32

The Beijing-based World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) kicked off its annual tourism summit in Rabat, the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, on Monday.

Participants then moved to Fez, another city in Morocco to attend forums and tourism business meetings related to the two-day summit.

It was the first time that the summit has been staged abroad. The previous three sessions were held in Beijing.

The event in Morocco showed the federation's determination to broaden its scope and its commitment to supporting Africa's tourism development, the organizer said in a statement.

The theme of this year's summit is diversity and sustainability.

The summit attracted more than 400 participants, including 69 member cities of the federation and 31 tourism-related institutions from 42 countries and regions, as well as guests from various sectors.

Cheng Hong, vice-chairperson of the World Tourism Cities Federation Council and vice-mayor of Beijing, reviewed the progress of the federation in the past year at the opening ceremony.

Phnom Penh, Cape Town, global companies and media organizations have joined the federation since the last summit, taking the total number of members to 151, said Song Yu, secretary general of the federation.

Lahcen Haddad, the minister of Morocco's tourism administration, expressed the hope for stronger cooperation with the federation to promote tourism development in Morocco.

During the summit, officials said that the WTCF Committee of Cruise Tourism would be established in Qingdao in May next year.

Cooperation agreements were also signed between WTCF and other parties including the UN World Tourism Organization, China's biggest online travel agency Ctrip, and the China Association of Private Equity at the summit.

Chongqing was voted as the host city for the 2016 summit at the council meeting during the summit.

WTCF is a nonprofit international tourism organization formed by famous tourism cities and tourism-related institutions under an initiative taken by Beijing. It aims to promote exchanges and cooperation among its members and the tourism industry.

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