2nd China (Beijing) Leisure Conference Held in Pinggu
Focus on urban culture and promoting a leisure lifestyle
The World Leisure Congress, instituted by the World Leisure Organization (WLO), is the most influential academic event in the leisure sector globally. On January 29, 2015, the State Council gave its approval to Beijing to bid for the 2020 World Leisure Congress, which would be hosted by the Beijing Municipal Government and organized by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism and Pinggu District Government. Beijing won the bid in September the same year after an intense competition.
At the closing ceremony of the 15th World Leisure Congress held on the evening of August 31, 2018, Brazil time, the Executive Committee of the 2020 World Leisure Congress successfully delivered a performance in which China extended its invitation to the 2020 World Leisure Congress. Since then, the World Leisure Congress has entered “Beijing time.”
On September 21, 2018 the Second China (Beijing) Leisure Conference was held in Pinggu, Beijing. Themed “Urban Culture and Leisure Industry Development,” it was hosted by the China Tourism Association, Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism and Pinggu District Government, and organized by the Executive Committee of the 2020 World Leisure Congress.
The conference was held to gather experience and industrial and corporate resources for the 2020 World Leisure Congress. It is the first professional international conference after the World Leisure Congress entered the “Beijing cycle.” Attended by experts, famous leisure businesses, international organizations, government agencies and non-governmental professional organizations from home and abroad, the conference focused on hot topics in the leisure sector.
It also saw a series of the latest research findings on leisure cities and industrial development released. It showcased new forms and products in the leisure industry and promoted the concept of leisure lifestyle. The conference included a main forum, three parallel ones and other tourism promotional activities.
The speakers at the opening ceremony included Wang Ning, Vice Mayor of Beijing; Roger Coles, Chair of the Board of Directors for the WLO; Zhang Rungang, Vice President and Secretary General of the China Tourism Association; Wu Bo, Regional Director-China of the Pacific Asia Travel Association; and Wang Chengguo, Party Secretary of Pinggu District. Officials from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism and the CPC Committee, people’s congress, people’s government and people’s political consultative conference of Pinggu District, as well as more than 200 representatives from the tourism commissions of Hebei, Hainan and other provinces as well as tourism businesses, also attended the opening ceremony.
The core session of the conference consisted of the main forum and three parallel forums on the theme of the conference. To be more internationally influential and authoritative in the industry, the conference invited hundreds of representatives from the WLO, China Tourism Association, leisure tourist cities, leisure businesses, industrial experts and individuals who took part in academic exchanges and discussions on the theme “Urban Culture and Leisure Industry Development.”
Compared with the first conference, the Second China (Beijing) Leisure Conference improved the profile of its guests as well as the organization and expertise of the activities.
At the main forum, Roger Coles spoke on the new trends in the development of culture-driven leisure industries in cities; an expert from the WLO compared famous leisure cities and the inspiration they provide; Xu Fan, a member of the UN World Tourism Organization’s committee of specialists, delivered a keynote speech on diversified development from leisure to health and wellness tourism. Focusing on urban culture and promoting a leisure lifestyle, the speakers discussed frontier topics on urban culture and the development of the leisure industry.
The three parallel forums were on the themes of urban culture and leisure tourism, urban culture and leisure sports, and urban culture and leisure agriculture. WLO representatives and experts from home and abroad spoke at the forums and engaged in high-level dialogue.
At the parallel forum on urban culture and leisure tourism, Li Xinjian, Dean of the School of Tourism Management at Beijing International Studies University, and Li Ji, head of Tsinghua University’s Cultural and Creative Industry Planning and Designing Center, respectively shared some cases on the transformation of the urban tourism industry and urban cultural heritage and development of the leisure industry.
Ling Ping, executive member of the WLO’s Board of Directors, and Liu Jiaming, professor with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, respectively spoke on the role of the cultural legacy of all previous Olympic Games and Asian Games in developing sports in the host cities, and all-for-one tourism research and practices in cities.
The forum also saw the release of a list of comprehensive ranking of leisure cities and a report on the leisure city development index.
At the parallel forum on urban culture and leisure sports, Liang Xiaolong, former Deputy Director of the Department of Policies and Regulations of the State General Administration of Sports, delivered a keynote speech on the role of people’s aspiration for a better life and mass sports development; Sun Haibin and Zhang Jian, both professors with Beijing Sport University, spoke respectively on the relation between sports events and new impetus for urban development and the combination of leisure sports and tourism.
Keynote speeches by Wu Lei, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Curling Association, and Li Xiangru, Director of the School of Leisure and Mass Sports of the Capital University of Physical Education and Sports, respectively focused on winter sports facilitating urban development and the industrialization of urban sports leisure. All the speakers emphasized the role of leisure sports in promoting urban culture and the leisure industry.
At the parallel forum on urban culture and leisure agriculture, Wu Chengzhong, Director of the Culture and Leisure Industry Research Center of the University of International Business and Economics, delivered a keynote speech on leisure agriculture and culture, followed by scholars and experts who shared cases on the transformation of leisure agriculture, ecotourism and green development, a beautiful countryside and rural vitalization, triggering deep thinking on leisure agriculture and urban culture.
In addition to academic forums, a variety of activities were also carried out. They included the 2018 International Leisure Industry Expo, a leisure fashion carnival, a government-business dialogue on “Pinggu for Leisure,” a seminar on the development of China’s leisure tourism and the Pinggu Farmers’ Harvest Festival. These activities not only highlighted the theme of “Urban Culture and Leisure Industry Development” but also promoted new achievements and products and led new trends in leisure. Industry-university-research cooperation was enhanced as well and new leisure business forms explored.
The 2018 International Leisure Industry Expo consisted of an indoor and an outdoor exhibition section. The indoor section was divided into five areas, displaying images of Beijing, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, nationwide leisure cities, international cities and leisure fashion.
The outdoor section was mainly for activities, product exhibitions and sale, and interactive activities. Three kinds of products were on display: special tourist commodities from different regions of the country, outdoor sport outfits as well as cultural and creative products.