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Forum sparks creative ideas on tourism

Tourism industry experts and entrepreneurs met for a travel forum summarizing the achievements of China's travel segment at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday, August 16, 2009. [Photo:CRIENGLISH.com]

Tourism industry experts and entrepreneurs met for a travel forum summarizing the achievements of China's travel segment at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday, August 16, 2009. [Photo:CRIENGLISH.com]

A travel forum summarizing the achievements of China's travel sector was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday.

At the forum, tourism industry experts and entrepreneurs discussed topics like travel investment, brand building and innovation, among which the latter has attracted the most attention.

"My understanding of innovation is to constantly create new products," said He Guangye, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Tourism Organization (APTO), host of the event.

The Hong Kong-based guild was founded in 2002 and has individual and corporate members distributed across Asia, the Americas and Australia.

APTO became the first to bring cruise travel to China on July 3, 2006, when Allegra, a mega-liner under the Italian cruise line Costa Cruises, celebrated its maiden voyage from Shanghai.

Introducing ocean cruise vacations was one of APTO's earlier innovations as cruises will be a brand new experience for most Chinese tourists, He Guangye said.

According to its 2009 agenda, APTO will host the World Tourism Image Ambassador Contest for the third time this September. Provincial selections of contestants are now underway in China.

"The innovation of the Chinese travel industry has to be based on the country's natural and cultural features; it still has a long way to go," the chairman said.

As part of the forum, APTO also gave out honorary titles to travel organizations and personnel in light of their accomplishments in various areas of China's tourism industry.

(CRI August 17, 2009)