Why the World Tourism Alliance Set Its Headquarters in Hangzhou?
On December 17, the World Tourism Alliance (WTA) signed a strategic cooperation document with the Government of Zhejiang Province in Beijing, which officially signified that the WTA will set its headquarters near the Xiang Lake, Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou, capital city of eastern Zhejing Province. After the signing ceremony, the WTA will set up a joint preparatory task force with the Government of Zhejiang Province to prepare for the settling of the WTA headquarters in Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
The WTA was established in Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan Province in September 2017. It is the first China-initiated global, comprehensive, non-governmental, non-profit international tourism organization.
As Li Jinzao, Director of the WTA Organizing Committee and Chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) said, the WTA was established right on time. It embodied the resolve and courage of the Chinese tourism community to innovate, reform and be assertive. It also reflected the world tourism community’s strong will for exploring new ways of cooperation. Its establishment was conducive for enhancing China’s say and influence in the global tourism industry.
Since the inception of the WTA, all the start-up work had been progressing steadily. Among others, the site selection work for the headquarters of this heavyweight international organization had been attracting worldwide attentions. The WTA Organizing Committee attached great importance on this work, and had publicized the application information across the nation.
A number of provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) responded, who actively prepared and submitted their intentions for candidacy and application reports. After rounds of talks with different parties, in-depth field investigations to various cities, special symposiums, discussions and analyses, the WTA Preparatory Committee finally decided to select a city that has outstanding geographical location and tourism performance as the headquarter site of the WTA.
As a result, Hangzhou and other 4 cities stood out and became candidate cities. All these 5 cities were outstanding among China's tourist destinations, boasting clear geographical advantages, a sound tourism industry and strong desires to home the WTA headquarters. The candidacy of these 5 cities in this contest also reflected that the WTA had been adhering to a high standard from the very beginning.
On the afternoon of November 8, the chief representatives of 5 candidate cities and their corresponding provinces gathered in Beijing, to prepare for the keynote speech at the WTA Headquarters Site Selection Meeting and for the review of the assessment committee.
During the meeting, the assessment committee introduced the rules of final voting, covering considerations in construction qualities, geographical locations, development levels and openness of the cities, supporting facilities and support policies of the local governments.
If one reads through the Voting Rules for the WTA Headquarters Site Selection, they would find all indicators are listed in a very detailed and clear way. Total size of area, actual size for use, office conditions and office space, accessibility of transport such as aviation, high-speed railways, highways, overall development levels and openness of the city, the supporting facilities around the site, the policy support from local governments towards the WTA, etc., are all included in the rules.
After the voting rules was announced, chief representatives of the 5 candidate cities made presentations about the overall situation of their respective cities, the recommended site selection plan for the WTA headquarters, and the relevant policy supports from local governments, etc. Votes were then cast by the members of the Assessment Committee and counted on the spot by the working staff.
In the end, the committee announced that Hangzhou, who ranked No. 1 with an overall score of 825, became home to the WTA headquarters.