During February 23 to 26, 2023, the 44th Belgrade International Tourism Fair will be held at the Belgrade Exhibition Center in the capital of Serbia. The fair is the largest international tourism fair in Southeast Europe and will be attended by nearly 500 tourism organizations from 41 countries and regions. With China as the guest of honor, Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau and Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism will organize a group on behalf of China to participate in the expo, showing the picture of “Beautiful China·Charming Beijing and Ningbo” to the tourism professionals all around the world.
This is the first cultural tourism promotion event arranged by Beijing after China’s epidemic prevention and control entered a new stage. It is rather an “icebreaking tour” than a “promotion tour”. With the strong support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Secretariat for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and the Chinese Embassy in Serbia, the Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau well planned and organized with great efficiency, and invited Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, Ningbo Central and Eastern Europe Expo and Cooperation Promotion Center, China Travel Group, Caissa Touristic, U-Tour and other important domestic tourism enterprise, as well as Beijing Grand Canal Cultural Tourism Company, Chaoyang Cultural and Creative Industry Center and other enterprises to participate in the exhibition.
Under the theme of “Beautiful China · Charming Beijing and Ningbo”, the China booth will tell the participants about the historical origin and elegance of the Grand Canal of China. As Belgrade’s friend city, Beijing will also set up a special exhibition area to show the achievements of bilateral cooperation in cultural exchanges, trade and other fields since the establishment of the friendship in October 1980. The delegation will actively promote the cultural and tourism resources and policies of Beijing such as the application of Beijing Central Axis as a World heritage site, the operation of Universal Studios, the departure tax refund scheme, “Beijing Tourism Expert”, “Beijing New Discovery” and other intangible cultural heritage projects, including silk figurine, Lord Rabbit, Beijing Grand Canal bookmark, and the IP gift “Pop Mart” of cultural and creative enterprises in Chaoyang District of Beijing.
The Ningbo exhibition area will be full of “Chinese style” and “ethnic style”. Overseas guests will enjoy the exquisite celadon products with warm and elegant glaze in delicate decoration and national intangible heritage like gold paint wood carving, tiger-head shoes production and other artistic exhibitions. Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism will also promote the beauty of cultural tourism of Ningbo from four aspects, namely “maritime silk road culture”, “coastal scenery”, “Buddhist world on the sea” and “delicious seafood” to guests and travelers through cultural and creative products, hand-painted tourism maps and videos.
Shi Anping, head of the Chinese delegation, said that Beijing is a famous historical and cultural city and an international tourist city where traditional culture and modern civilization complement each other, and where historical background and fashion creativity bring out the best in each other. We sincerely welcome all of you to feel the unique charm of Beijing as the world’s first “dual Olympic city” and “capital of a major power”. I hope that the cultural and tourism cooperation both between China and Serbia and China and CEE countries will bloom like flowers in spring.
Ambassador Jiang Yu, special representative for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries, said that cultural and tourism cooperation is a bridge of people-to-people exchanges and mutual trust, as well as an important connotation of cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. Thanks to the “cooperation” mechanism, the number of Chinese tourists to CEE countries has increased fourfold in the past decade, with 30 direct flights a week. This has greatly boosted people-to-people exchanges and tourism between the two sides. China and CEE countries are rich in cultural and tourism resources. We hope that the two sides will take this Belgrade International Tourism Fair as an opportunity to introduce more high-quality tourism products and services to meet the needs of consumers of all countries, take advantage of visa-free travel in the Balkans to actively explore the creation of regional tourism packages for Chinese tourists, and boost service trade by expanding tourism cooperation to facilitate cultural exchanges between China and CEE countries.
In addition to Serbia, the delegation will also hold a number of cultural and tourism promotion activities in Greece and Bulgaria to promote tourism exchanges and cooperation between China and CEE countries.