On July 14, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) officially set up the observatory on sustainable tourism in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Mr. Luigi Cabrini, Director of the Sustainable Tourism Department under the UNWTO, and Mr. Hu Bojun, Secretary of the Zhangjiajie Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, presided over the unveiling ceremony for the observatory. Zhangjiajie mayor Zhao Xiaoming and other officials also attended the ceremony.
In order to promote the sustainable development of global tourism industry, the UNWTO launched the program of Global Observatory on Sustainable Tourism (GOST), aiming to guide the scientific development of tourist destinations, improve the exemplary status of these regions, and facilitate the international exchanges and cooperation there. In November 2009, Zhangjiajie Municipal government submitted the written application to the UNWTO branch in Asia-Pacific Region. Last July, it officially put forward the proposal of establishing an observatory in Zhangjiajie to Secretary General of the UNWTO.
Zhangjiajie is the third city where the UNWTO establishes the observatory following Guilin and Huangshan, which symbolizes that the sustainable tourism development of Zhangjiajie has entered into a new stage. The observatory will monitor social culture, economic development, environment protection, and so on, providing the basis for scientific decision on tourism development in Zhangjiajie.