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Stakeholders hail success of China-Denmark tourism year

By Wang Mingjie in Copenhagen | | Updated: 2017-12-06 00:56
Stakeholders hail success of China-Denmark tourism year

The National Traditional Orchestra of Heilongjiang Opera and Dance Drama Theater performs Chinese folk music at the closing ceremony of the China-Denmark Tourism Year in Copenhagen on Tuesday. [Photo/]

A wrap-up event on Tuesday at the Royal Danish Theatre's Old Stage in Copenhagen marked the end of the China-Denmark Tourism Year, an initiative that has helped boost the number of annual visits between the countries to more than 300,000 people.

Li Jinzao, director of the China National Tourism Administration, attended the celebration, along with Deng Ying, China's ambassador to Denmark, Frederik, the nation's crown prince, and Brian Mikkelsen, Denmark's minister of industry business and financial affairs.

In addition, 1,300 guests from both countries, including representatives from tourism administrations and the business community, were in attendance.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Li said: "This year's effort has brought very pragmatic benefits and laid a solid foundation for further exchange and collaboration between the two countries."

As a result of the success, Li said Beijing Capital Airlines will launch a direct flight between Beijing and Copenhagen in March.

"Tourism is not only a cultural exchange activity but also an industry," Li said. "It connects people with destination countries and helps the development of local economic growth, job creation, and improves local people’s livelihoods."

Deng lauded the participation of the Danish royal family and said Prince Frederik had been an active patron.

Frederik said the China-Denmark Tourism Year had created a great platform for meetings and exchanges at all levels; including political discussions, business engagements, and cultural exchanges.

"It is through traveling that we encounter new people and culture," he said. "It is while traveling that we exchange thoughts and ideas with strangers, and it is through traveling that we get a better understanding of each other, both the differences and similarities."

As a token of the strength of bilateral relations, President Xi Jinping has earmarked two giant pandas for Copenhagen Zoo. The Danish prime minister visited the pair in Chengdu, Sichuan province,in May.

Frederik noted that the groundbreaking ceremony for their future home at Copenhagen Zoo took place a few weeks ago, and said they are likely to arrive in Denmark next year.

The special year was launched in February after an agreement between President Xi and Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen was reached in March 2016.

The initiative was the first of its kind between China and a Nordic country and is likely to provide a blueprint for the China-EU Tourism Year, which is set for next year.

Antti Peltomaki, the EU’s deputy director general for internal market industry entrepreneurship and SMEs, welcomed the imminent start of that special year, which the EU will launch in Venice in January along with the China National Tourism Administration.

"Our ambition is that the China-EU Tourism Year will bring many opportunities for citizens from both the EU and China," Peltomaki said.

Zhang Yangfei contributed to the story


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