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Argentine teacher espouses benefits of BRI

Updated: 2022-08-09 08:48 ( Xinhua )
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Esteban Zottele, a 51-year-old Argentine, has always been fond of China. As a child, he created a picture of China in his mind through reading books. When he grew up, he traveled to the ancient Asian country and settled down. He is now an ambassador for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Zottele has been in China for more than 20 years. His first acquaintance with China was at the age of 5 at an acrobatic show performed by a Chinese troupe in Argentina. Reading more about the country "sparked his curiosity and fascination with everything about it", he says.

In 1999, Zottele made his first trip to China. During his monthlong stay, he toured Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou in Guangdong province, among other cities.

The trip changed his life. After returning to Argentina, he began learning Chinese, eating Chinese food and even practicing kung fu.

In 2010, he came to study at Renmin University of China in Beijing and obtained a doctoral degree. In his spare time, Zottele spent most of his time traveling around, leaving his footsteps in the cities of Baoding in Hebei province, Chongqing and Shenzhen in Guangdong.

"My study experience has made me more closely connected with China," he says.

He was stunned at the vast and rich culture, as well as the rapid development and transformation of China over the years.

"Most cities are now connected by high-speed railway, unlike when I first visited here," Zottele says.

"My father is in Mexico, my mother is in Argentina, and I'm in China. We can video chat simultaneously through WeChat, which is very convenient," he says.

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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