During the first 20 days of June this year, “Beautiful China, More than Pandas”, a large global tourism marketing campaign hosted by the China National Tourism Administration and managed by the Sichuan Provincial Commission for Tourism Development, kicked off in Cyprus and Spain, with pandas galore strolling the streets of the three destination cities.
In Lefkosia, Cyprus and in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, the passionately-performed Chinese panda flashmob dance drew the attention of and caused excitement among locals as well as tourists who were visiting the three cities from all over the world. A large number of the passers-by took selfies with the painted pandas while children eagerly and happily engaged in the “do-it-yourself” panda painting activity. Famous classic Sichuan dishes that were served at the event got rave reviews from the many Europeans who sampled the delicacies. Demonstrations of the classical Sichuan Opera Face and the uniquely charming oriental tea culture were successive high points of the live event.
During the marketing campaign that was held in three cities across two countries, the theme of the event – “Sichuan – the land of abundance” – was successfully articulated to onlookers, many of whom came from all across Europe. The pictures told the story, including the province’s beautiful natural scenery, its long history and profound culture as well as the economic achievements over the recent several years. Special presentations detailed the province’s many traditional tourism routes to interested guests. Chinese and western tourism organizations inked a cooperation agreement to share the arrangements of travelers’ inbound and outbound segments and co-promote tourism development.
The Famous Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant award ceremony coupled with on-site competitions between leading Sichuan and European chefs led to a spirited exchange of ideas between the chefs of the various cuisines. The China Sichuan Ancient Civilization Global Exhibition Tour lifted some of the veil of mystery that Westerners feel when encountering Eastern culture and customs. Global tourism organizations and their Chinese counterparts discussed product development, joint marketing as well as efforts between organizations to bilaterally promote tourism.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization will hold its 22nd plenary session in Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, this September. The province’s tourism authorities are also using the marketing campaign as a vehicle for inviting interested parties to attend the session.