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World Travel & Tourism Council to Hold Meeting of Industry CEO's to Establish China Initiative

Travel News Asia 12 January 2004

Today, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced its plans to hold a meeting of Travel & Tourism industry CEO's in China to discuss the formulation of Business Leaders Forum aimed at working closely with the government to fulfill the potential of Travel & Tourism in China.

The meeting to be held in Shanghai in early February will review and debate a high level proposal by WTTC to establish a WTTC China Initiative, using its recent experience in Latin America and India as a point of reference and focusing on a proposed mission, set of objectives, organizational structure, operation, financials and membership.

The Shanghai meeting follows the recent presentation and launch (October 2003) of a detailed report by WTTC on China's Travel & Tourism to the government of China and to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the Chinese government body that monitors and regulates travel and tourism in China.

The report makes projections about the economic impact and growth of Travel & Tourism in China. It also provides a series of policy recommendations intended to maximize the industry's impact on both China and the world economy.

The February meeting will be hosted by Edouard Ettedgui, Managing Director of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Regional Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council, Giovanni Angelini, CEO & Managing Director of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and LJ Jia, Vice President & China Country Manager, American Express Company.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC's President, said:

"This meeting of China's Travel & Tourism private sector leaders is an important first step in building a coalition of support and organization around the policy agenda that WTTC has developed for China and Hong Kong. Our recent report and recommendations on China's Travel & Tourism potential was well received by the public and private sector and now it's time to translate this groundbreaking policy advice into action."

WTTC's Executive Vice President, Richard Miller reported that interest in the Forum is running extremely high and already includes many of China's top Travel & Tourism Chairman and CEO's. Attendance at the meeting will be by invitation only to leading Travel & Tourism concerns currently operating or seeking to operate in China and Hong Kong. Requests for invitation can be made by contacting WTTC's offices in London by email at

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