In 2019, China will continue to be the biggest tourism source market in the world, both in terms of number of trips as well as in money spent. However, the majority of travellers from China are still concentrated on major destination cities, resulting in overtourism in some places and a lack of visitors in many others.
Many cities in the world including second and third tier cities have twin city partnerships with Chinese cities, often since decades. These partnerships provide an existing official framework for the exchange of leisure tourists, culturally interested visitors, sports teams, administrators, students, senior citizens, start-up companies, investors etc. However, only a few cities are using this opportunity at the moment.
Last year, the Twin Cities World Tourism Association (TCWTA) was founded, with its headquarters to be based in Zürich, Switzerland. On January 18th, 2019, the Association will hold its first workshop about the possibilities city partnerships are providing to develop tourism in general and tourism from China in particular. Among the speakers will be the president of TCWTA, Mayor Thomas-Peter Binder, several other mayors as well as tourism experts, including the humble writer of this editorial.
The full-day workshop will start at 9:30 am in the Volkshaus Zürich, ending with a dinner. Furthermore, there is also the additional offer of a FAM trip to Lucerne in Central Switzerland the next day.
Participation for the whole event is free of charge and the workshop language will be English. TCWTA offers a very good opportunity to learn about the ways the concept of Twin City partnerships – which has gone out of fashion in most parts of the world over the past decade – can be re-started in the era of digital communication and the age of Chinese outbound tourism and investment.
A detailed programme and contact to register can be found on the COTRI blog
We hope that especially our readers in Europe can make use of this offer to start the New Year with a meaningful initiative.
See you in Zürich!
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS FRAS