Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang speaks at an opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN tourism cooperation year in Manila, the Philippines, on March 16, 2017. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday sent congratulatory messages to an opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN tourism cooperation year, which was held in Manila, the Philippines. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang presented Li's congratulatory message while attending the ceremony in Manila. (Xinhua/Yang Ke)
MANILA, March 17 (Xinhua) -- China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday officially launched the China-ASEAN Year of Tourism, with two sides vowing to enhance tourism cooperation.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang attended the launching ceremony and made a speech in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, where he is on a four-day visit.
Wang Yang said China and ASEAN have been enjoying rapid economic development and people's livelihood has greatly improved, adding that a mass tourism era has come.
"China and ASEAN are close friendly neighbors. We have been each other's largest destinations of overseas visits and largest sources of overseas visitors," he pointed out.
The Chinese vice premier noted that tourism cooperation between the two sides enjoys bright prospect, vowing China will work with ASEAN countries to take the China-ASEAN Year of Tourism as an opportunity to further upgrade the industry.
"We need to build more platforms for tourism cooperation to translate the consensus of our leaders into more outcomes of practical cooperation," Wang Yang said.
Wanda Teo, tourism secretary of the Philippines which holds the rotating chair of the ASEAN, said connectivity inside ASEAN has improved gradually in past years, and that people move more freely within ASEAN with it as a single tourism destination.
"We celebrate today the tourism cooperation year between China and ASEAN, we hope tourism organizations of the two sides strengthen their cooperation, which will in turn bring more job opportunities and investments with it," she said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte respectively sent their congratulatory messages for the event.