2018 China-EU Tourism Year kicks off in Venice, Italy, on Friday with both sides aiming to promote travel and bilateral ties.
In a congratulatory message to the opening ceremony, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang 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.
At the opening ceremony, Elzbieta Bienkowska, a European Commissioner, said EU and China want to improve mutual understanding between European and Chinese people, encourage more Europeans and Chinese to visit, discover and appreciate each other's places, cultures, and traditions, and stimulate new investment opportunities.
Bienkowska said that on the EU side, there are three specific aims: promote sustainable tourism, increase investment opportunities for its industry and create the right conditions to advance ongoing negotiations on EU-China visa facilitation and air connectivity.
The opening ceremony is followed by the first EU-China Tourism Business Summit. The year will also see a number of cooperative marketing campaigns funded through public-private partnerships, business summits, and business-to-business meetings for tourism operators.