Sustainable tourism was the focus of a high-level Chinese delegation who visited Cornwall this week.
The delegation from the Hechi province in China met with Cornwall Council, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP, Visit Cornwall, Cornwall 365 and representatives from the Eden Project.
Led by Mayor Tang Yunshu, the delegation came to Cornwall to learn from Cornwall’s approach to sustainable tourism. Hechi, which has a population of 3.5 million, attracts more than 20 million tourists a year due to its beautiful landscape and favourable climate.
Hechi authorities are looking to ensure that tourism is “all for one” – the Chinese policy term for sustainable tourism that benefits local communities – and were keen to learn from Cornwall’s experience.
Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, Bob Egerton, met with and welcomed the Hechi delegation.
“Cooperation of this kind is important in terms of building links between our two regions,” he remarked. “It’s an opportunity to exchanging best practice, open doors for business opportunities and for welcoming more Chinese tourists to Cornwall.
“We may be opposite sides of the world, but Cornwall and Hechi actually have a lot in common. We are favourite tourist destinations within each of our countries and share the common challenge of welcoming a significant number of visitors each year while at the same time protecting the natural beauty that brings tourists in the first place.”
The meeting took place at the Eden Project, which was an opportunity for the Hechi delegation to see first-hand a large-scale Cornish tourist attraction which has sustainability at the centre of its operating model. The delegation also took a guided tour around the county, as part of a fact-finding mission across Europe.