BFA to host first tourism conference in Guilin

13 August 2002

BEIJING - The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), a non-profit organisation made up of senior Asian leaders will host its first tourism-focused conference in Guilin this year.

In a joint press conference in Beijing yesterday, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the BFA announced a new tourism forum will be held from November 10-13 in Guilin.

The focus of the forum will be the future of Asia's tourism sector in terms of resources; sustainable development; tourism and poverty alleviation and employment.

Alhaj Syed Abul Hossain, spokesperson for BFA said the organisation is responding to requests for regional cooperation and exchange of ideas for tourism alone, and thus the need to launch this new forum in November. BFA expects about 500 senior state leaders and tourism industry heads to attend.

In the past, BFA has hosted two forums in the city of Boao, in eastern Hainan. The most recent conference was in April this year, but received criticism from Premier Zhu Rongji who said Boao played poor host to the event. Guilin has been chosen this time around because of its 'scenery and dedicated efforts toward environmental production through sustainable development', Hossain said. He added that Guilin, as a destination, is experienced in handling large-scale conferences.

BFA was initiated back in 1998 by the former Prime Minister of Australia Robert James Hawke, former President of the Philippines Fidel Ramos, and former Prime Minister of Japan Hosokawa Morihiro. Their idea for the forum was to bring together senior leaders throughout Asia to discuss regional economic development, population growth and the environment.

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