The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), an international tourism organization created by 37 cities, will be headquartered in Beijing, its organizers said Thursday.
The federation aims to enhance cooperation between tourist destinations and serve as a platform for releasing information, promoting projects and boosting the image of its member cities, said Li Xinjian, a professor at Beijing International Studies University and consultant for the federation.
The federation was established by 17 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Guangzhou, and 20 cities in foreign countries, including Los Angeles, Vienna, Moscow and Barcelona. The federation aims to include 100 cities within three years.
"Cities make up the center of tourism, as they are major destinations for many tourists and where they spend most of their money," said Lu Yong, head of the WTCF's organizing committee and director of the Beijing Tourism Development Committee.
The federation is the first of its kind to be headquartered in China, which has become a major tourist destination and source of tourists in recent years, according to WTCF officials.
The establishment of the headquarters in Beijing will help Chinese cities catch up with the world's most developed tourist cities and further improve their appeal overseas, Lu said.
The federation will publish annual reports and statistics on the global tourism market and the development of the world's major tourist cities.