EU-China Tourism Year in Brussels

(c) « Xinhua News Agency »

More than ever the relations between China and the European Union are growing up !

So, from February 22d. till 28th., Brussels celebrated the « E.U.-China Tourism Year » with so beautiful different sizes’ lighted Chinese lanterns on the « Grand’ Place » and its surroundings, till the « Central Railway Station » !

In the evening of February 22d., the Brussels’ City Hall was all lighted in red, in tribute to the People’s Republic of China, being watched by a large international audience.
 Before the great opening, one official reception was gived in the City Hall’s Weddings’ Room, with some chinese folk music ans songs, some puppeteers ans maskedpeople  showing some chinese traditions to the many invited distinguishet guests, before different speeches gived by Philippe CloseBrussels’ Mayor Karine Lalieux, Feasts’ CityCouncillor His Exchellency Song Zhe, the Ambassador for the E.U. ; H.E. Qu Xing, the Ambassador for the Kingdom of Belgium and some E.U.’s reprentatives.

Just before that the lights would go out in the European Capital, on the February 28th., one day being designed as the « E.U.-China Tourism Year Parliamentary Day », the E.U. Parliament hosted, so, one of the main activity  organized under the structure of the « E.U.-China Tourism Year ».

(c) « Xinhua News Agency »

In front of a really large audience of chinese officials and journalists, the summit started with the speech of the E.U. Parliement’s President, Antonio Tajani, who said : « 5 millions jobs could be created in the E.U., based upon tourism thanks to an increased number of travellers these last years, largely coming from Asia China has a huge heritage and I hope that we, in Europe, can get to know this culture much better so that we can strengthen the links between our people.

Than Istvan Ujhelyi, Chair of Tourism Task Force, underlined : “Our legacy in the tourism sector will be judged by our actions during the current European transformation period hallmarked by Brexit and deep social, financial, and economic reforms.”

On his side, Hongjian Wang, « Chargé d’affaires » of the Mission of China to the E. U., shared his thoughts on the project : “E.U.-China Tourism Year is one of the highlight of the China-EU relation. The cooperation in tourism drives cooperation in other industries. Tourism is like a window: EU citizens and Chinese citizens learn more about each other through this window.”
The Secretary-General of the well knowed World Tourist Organization « UNWTO », Zurab Pololikashvili, stressed the importance of working in collaboration with the European institutions on key priorities, like sustainability,  innovation, technologysafetysecurityeducation and jobs’ creations : “This summit, which celebrated the ‘EU-China Tourism Year’, comes as an opportunity to make Europe the best global destination for Chinese tourists and to use tourism to increase understanding between Europe and China.

Vice President of « China-Europe Association of Technology and Economic Corporation »Pan Feng announces : “Innovation has become a very important power to the E.U. and China tourism. So, ‘CEATEC’ will develop an innovative business model to contribute in the ‘E.U.-China Tourism Cooperation Platform’.”

Segree Dai & Istvan Ujhelyi (c) Laszlo Arany

Came the time of the official conclusions and the most important, the Signing Ceremony executed by Istvan Ujhelyi, President of the« Europe China One Belt One Road Culture & Tourism Development Committee »  and Segree DaiPresident of the « EUPIC » (« E.U. Project Innovation Center »).
 Right after, we had the opportunity to speak with last lady, telling us that many  Chinese tourits are quite afraid about some wrong attitude of some people stealing them, when they travel in Belgium… So, could we recommend all Belgian citizens to respect all the tourists, wich is really important for the reputation of our country and for the Belgian economy... We really have to offer the best image of us to all our visitorsand, especially, for the millions of Chinese people who will discover Belgium during this « E.U.-China Tourism Year » ! … And don’t forget, if they keep a good souvenir of their safety trips overseas, they will comme back and tell their families and friends to come also ! …

… And, first of all, never forget that the cooperation between our two institutions,  Chinese and European, aims to promote the good practices and the sharing of knowledge and experiences on the ground. Now, it’s true that our authorities have to work to can offer, soon, only one single visa valuable for all the E.U. countries. Waiting for this, certainly, this « E.U.-China Tourism Year » provides a unique opportunity to increase the number of visitspromote sustainable tourism and stimulate investment opportunities  for  Europe and China… In 2017, 12 millions of Chinese tourists visited some counries of the E.U.  We expect two or three time more in 2018 ! …

In this hope and hoping that many European tourists will travel to China, this year, the Ambassy of China for the Kingdom of Belgium organize some more events in Belgium, in Han-sur-Lesse, Durbuy and Dinant. In this last city, we will have two events : outside, we will find the same Chinese lanterns as in Brussels, from Friday March 09th till April 2d, and in the City House, there will be one chinese masks’ exhibition« Happy Heads ». Free entrance from Saturday  March 10th till Monday April 2d, from Monday till Fridayfrom 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday March 10th and 11thas well as on Monday April 2d, from 2 till p.m.   

(c) « Xinhua News Agency »

Also, back in Brussels, we find, in the « Comics Art Museum », till Sunday September 9th, one really important exhibition – wich was opened by the Chinese Ambassador H.E. Song Zhe – about the Comics Strips in China, all the main teksts being translated in chinese and englishexplaining us the chinese history of the Comics Strips, from the illustrated books, printed in the year 868 till their 21st century‘s Comics books,knowing that the first chinese Comic’s HeroeMr. Wang, started his adventures in 1929, the same year that « Hergé » (Georges Remy) created « Tintin »… 

The « Comics Art Museum » is opened each day from 10 a.m. till 6 p.mEntrance fees (including the permanent collection) : 3€50 (under 12), 7€ (12-25 years), 8€ (seniors from 65) and 10€ (adults). Moreinformations on the web site

Yves Calbert.

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