SUVA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The China Tourism & Culture Week and Food Festival kicked off here on Wednesday night, showcasing China's beautiful landscapes, colourful culture and delicious food.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo said that both China and Fiji have rich tourism and culture resources, so it is a good opportunity for Chinese and Fijian peoples to exchange ideas on tourism development and art appreciation.
Themed with "Beauty of China," the event is held from May 29 to June 1.
Two delegations, one from north China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the other from east China's Jiangsu Province, provided audience with 40 beautiful landscape photos, ethnic art performance, intangible cultural heritage displays and amazing Huaiyang Cuisine, which is regarded as one of the top four Chinese cuisines featured with refinement, elegance and lightness.
China and Fiji have developed good relations for decades, particularly in recent years. The cultural exchanges between the two countries will promote the understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries, said Qian.
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will help promote the comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development between China and Fiji and the rest of the South Pacific island nations, he added.
Iowane Naivalurua, former Fijian ambassador to China and now permanent secretary at Fiji's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Fiji and China enjoy very good relations and this event will help strengthen the cultural exchange between the two countries.
For his part, Christopher Cocker, CEO of the South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), said that tourism is a tool and driver for economic development for the Pacific region and an effective means for promoting peace and prosperity throughout the world.
As one of the world's fastest growing industries, tourism is a cornerstone of development in the Pacific region and the outlook for its continued growth has been bolstered by the growing potential of the Chinese market, he said.
According to Deng Xianfu, director of China Cultural Center in Fiji, in response to the 2019 Tourism Year between China and the Pacific Island countries, the center has planned a series of tourism events throughout the year including the Tourism & Culture Week and Food Festival.