CHENGDU, China, Sept. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/. With the aim of making the giant panda the face of China as a tourism destination and persuading tourists worldwide to include China as a part of their travel plans so they can see the cute and furry bear "up close," while letting the world become more familiar with a wider array of Chinese tourist attractions with local characteristics, "Beautiful China, More than Pandas," a global tourism marketing campaign hosted by the China National Tourism Administration and managed by the Sichuan Provincial Commission for Tourism Development, officially kicked off in Berlin, Germany on September 2. Approximately 150 executives from German airlines and travel businesses as well as members of the media attended the event. Li Jinzao, chairman of the China National Tourism Administration, and Jochen Szech, president of the Alliance of Independent Travel Traders, added the finishing touches to the eyes of the ersatz panda serving as the mascot for the event, in a move to announce the opening of the first session.
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Chairman Li said, "The global marketing campaign 'Beautiful China, More than Pandas' not only serves to show the quintessential wonders of China to more travelers worldwide, but also injects new energy into the tourism cooperation between China and Germany." Organizers designed a panda mascot called Panina, a combination of the words "panda" and "China," and pronounced similarly to the Chinese phrase "Pan Ni Lai," or "longing for you to come here," demonstrating the hospitality of Chinese people.
Promoting tourism in the giant panda's native province of Sichuan is the highlight of the campaign. Hao Kangli, director of the Sichuan Provincial Commission for Tourism Development, spoke about the natural attractions, culture and history, as well as the local cuisines and folk customs of the province, emphasizing the theme of "Sichuan, More than Pandas." Chengdu Municipal Tourism Administration director Duo Yang Na Mu gave a presentation on tourism in and around Chengdu, the capital of the province. The province's tour operators then followed up with a presentation on selected panda tourist routes as well as selected cuisines that are representative of the province's local fare. Travel agencies and tourism operators from Sichuan province and Germany inked mutual cooperation agreements to boost the exchange of tourists between the two regions.
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