/ 5th China-Central and Eastern Europe Countries 17+1 High-Level Tourism Forum

On the 23rd of October, the 5th China-Central and Eastern Europe Countries 17+1 High-Level Tourism Forum took place in Riga, Latvia. The event was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Economics and Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.

The 17+1 format is a cooperation between China and 17 Central and Eastern European countries- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece.

Hosting the event in Latvia plays a key role in strengthening economic relations between Latvia and China and promoting tourism.

Moreover, Latvian Minister of Economics, Mr. Ralfs Nemiro – had scheduled meetings with Chinese Culture and Tourism Minister Luo Shugang, and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, ministers discussed the possibility of creating a direct flight between China and Latvia and other opportunities for the development of tourism. Every year hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists are keen to travel the world. At the moment, the Baltic region attracts around 60 thousand Chinese tourists yearly, however, for the following year the aim is to increase the number by 20 thousand, according to the minister. Therefore, Latvia needs to become the Baltic Regional Tourism Centre to attract more tourists and become the tourist transit country in the Baltic region.

However, during the Chinese Culture and Tourism Minister visit in Riga it has been concluded that there is still a need to develop five crucial aspects to facilitate the growth in tourism. Namely, there should be evolvements in tourism policy, tourism infrastructure, cooperation in tourism commence and more work should be done to advance connectivity and contacts between people of both countries. At the same time, a very vital role plays an adjustment to the Chinese payment system.

Latvia is looking forward to promoting and strengthen the cooperation between both countries and closely follow the improvement of the five aspects distinguished in the forum.