UNWTO will assist the government of China in the formulation of its first ever national tourism law. Visiting the organization’s headquarters, a high-level delegation led by parliamentarians of the China National People’s Congress and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), agreed to request the technical and political support of UNWTO to design its normative framework for tourism. This announcement follows last year’s identification by the Chinese government of the tourism sector as one of its strategic development areas.
Through the CNTA, China will follow the positive experience of different UNWTO member countries in implementing a national tourism legislation. The Chinese delegation was headed by Mr. Shi Xiushi, Chairman of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress and Ms. Du Yili, Vice-Chairman of CNTA, next to more than 10 high-level officials.
Mr. Shi Xiushi expressed the need to design such a law and invited UNWTO to participate in its capacity as the leading international tourism authority, which has helped other member countries in defining their respective legislations. UNWTO accepted the invitation and will join China in an international symposium on tourism legislation to be held next year to further elaborate the process of formulating the China tourism law.
The main objective of a tourism law is to legally define the concept of the tourism activity. Based on that legal definition, all tourism components can be addressed from a legal and hence political perspective, such as tourism demand and supply, tourism policy, and political and economic implications at the local, regional and national levels.
“A tourism law helps to render the sector more political and economic relevance, and directs the attention to an activity with an importance and complexity, ranging from transportation to accommodation or space management, which is often underestimated”, said UNWTO Executive Director Fréderic Pierret at the meeting.
The UNWTO Intelligence Gathering System on Legal and Institutional Aspects of Tourism to be launched in 2011, will provide a valuable tool to serve Members and other stakeholders in tourism development.
The UNWTO Tourism Legislation Database (LEXTOUR): http://www.unwto.org/documentation/lextour/en/lextour.php?op=1&subop=2