Dazhai Wanda, China was dedicated this week as an IIPT Global Town of Peace. Orchestrating the ceremony was Ms. Haybina Hao, Honorary Mayor of the Village for the week. Haybina set for herself a goal to create greater international awareness of Danzhai Wanda Village as an international tourism destination and its impressive contribution to poverty reduction.
Haybina is formerly Vice President, International Development, U. S. Tour Association. In this capacity, she played an instrumental role in increasing tourism from China to the United States and assisted in establishing a tour operator’s reception system for inbound Chinese tourists. She is recognized as a China tourism expert in both the U.S. and China.
Haybina’s week as Honorary Mayor was focused on achieving “A Dialogue between Danzhai and the World.” The December event featured greeting videos and letters sent from 11 international destinations and tourism organizations congratulating Danzhai Wanda Village for its success in attracting some 3 million visitors in less than 6 months since its opening this past July.
IIPT President receiving gift from Danzai Country Official
The ceremony also featured the dedication of Danzhai Wanda as an “IIPT Global Town of Peace” during which IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore stated: “The founders and administrators of Danzhai Wanda are to be congratulated on their impressive award winning achievements in such a short period of time.”
Danzhai Wanda General Manager and IIPT President by Global Peace Park commemorative stone
He continued: “As 2017 is the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and Peace, of particular significance is Danzhai Wanda’s contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals one and four: to reduce poverty and provide for quality education. As a result of your efforts, 40,000 lives have been enhanced, raising each of them above the poverty line. And with the dedication today of Danzhai Wanda as an IIPT Global Town of Peace – your contribution to UN Sustainable Development goal sixteen – to nurture peace and mutual understanding.”
Located in the southwestern province of Guizhou, Danzhai County is one of the most undeveloped areas in China. Although endowed with spectacular natural scenery and an incredible diversity of ethnic cultures, Danzhai is a largely unexplored destination for tourists due to its previous inaccessibility.
Danzhai Wanda Village is one part of a three-pronged poverty alleviation scheme by the Wanda Group that also includes a poverty alleviation fund and Guizhou Wanda Vocational College with an enrollment of 400 students. Wanda will hire 50% of the graduates from the vocational school. Danzhai Wanda Village, which includes a hotel and town district built in the distinctive Miao architectural tradition, is expected to provide up to 3,000 jobs.
Ms. Hao’s mayorship also resulted in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a sister district relationship between Danzhai Wanda Village and Deadwood National Historic Landmark District in South Dakota, United States. The MOU marked the first sister district relationship in China to focus on tourism-related connections with international destinations.
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The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding, cooperation among nations, an improved quality of environment, cultural enhancement and the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, reconciliation and healing wounds of conflicts; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world. It is founded on a vision of the world’s largest industry, travel and tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry; and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.”