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Beijing, Copenhagen sign pact on tourism cooperation

Xinhua)  08:46, June 20, 2013  

Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen (L) and Deputy Mayor of Beijing Li Shixiang shake hands after signing a memorandum on tourism cooperation in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 19, 2013. (Xinhua/Ursula Bach)

COPENHAGEN, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen and Beijing Executive Vice Mayor Li Shixiang signed here Wednesday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strengthening tourism cooperation between the two capital cities.

Under the MoU, the two cities will strengthen the exchanges of expert visits, mutual studies and research of tourism, and engage in information sharing in statistics, destination marketing and travel products promotion. Both sides will also enhance dialogue and cooperation in the legislation and regulation of tourism activities.

The two sides also discussed ways of improving the airline connections between the two cities and the tourist visa facilitation.

"The cooperation in tourism involves more than simply increasing the number of tourists. Tourism contributes also to the socio-cultural and economics dynamics, further building relations and fostering mutual understanding between people from the two countries," Li said at the signing ceremony.

"The agreement on tourism cooperation will open the door to an increase of Chinese tourists in Copenhagen compared to today. Copenhagen is the preferred city of Chinese tourists in Scandinavia," said Jensen.

He stressed that tourism is now an important part of the economy in Copenhagen, expecting 444,000 Chinese tourists will visit Copenhagen by 2020.

He said Copenhagen has seen increasing numbers of Chinese visitors these years. According to official statistics, in 2012, a total of 104,000 Chinese tourists visited Copenhagen, up by 38 percent compared to 2011. A Chinese tourist spent an average of 1,762 Danish kroner (around 316 U.S. dollars) a day in Copenhagen.

Jensen also expressed a keen interest in the World Tourism City Federation (WTCF), a non-profit international organization initiated by the city of Beijing and aimed to promote inter-city international exchanges through tourism. He said the city of Copenhagen will consider joining the WTCF after a proper evaluation.

The MoU on tourism collaboration is the second agreement under the sister-city partnership between the two capitals, which was forged in June 2012. The two cities reached a MoU on sustainable development in September 2012.

Jensen noted that both Copenhagen and Beijing are popular destinations for tourists and the agreement on tourism will make bilateral cooperation even stronger than today.

Officials from both city authorities, Chinese and Danish business representatives witnessed the deal signing at the Town Hall of Copenhagen.

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(Editor:HuangBeibei、Yao Chun)


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