The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year and beyond
In July 2016 the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Chinese Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, decided that 2018 will be the EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY), with various objectives:
- to increase visitors' flows in the European Union and China
- boost investment in tourism
- stimulate people-to-people dialogue and mutual understanding.
Both sides at institutional and industry levels have hailed this Year as a success. On various occasions, the European Commission flagged the need to build on these results. The Chinese government in its “Policy Paper on the European Union” released on 18 December 2018 also invited to “boost cooperation between tourism industries based on the success of the China-EU Tourism Year of 2018”. More importantly for the URTI Exchange Platform, the Policy Paper proposes to “encourage media cooperation in various forms [and] facilitate exchanges of broadcasting and television organizations”.
URTI Exchange Platform
URTI (International Radio and Television Union) has relevant experience in the realm of TV programmes exchanges thanks to the support of URTI members, URTI partners, ABU and UNESCO.
It also has a rich catalogue of TV programmes produced by its European members and featuring iconic tourist destinations, cultural heritage and UNESCO locations in the EU.
In order to contribute to the EU-China Tourism Year, URTI has decided to support and foster the broadcasting of such programmes on Chinese public televisions as part of a wider EU-China programmes exchange.
Its support goes through the provision on a large scale of TV programmes provided free of charge for broadcasting by Chinese public televisions. Concretely
- URTI has set up this specific exchange interface for a catalogue of 50 existing TV programmes (25 minutes duration for most), featuring EU touristic cultural icons;
- The TV Programmes are selected and provided by URTI free of charge for broadcasting by Chinese broadcasters in the context and for the duration of this action, i.e. till end 2019.
- These programmes are presented in original languages, with English subtitles and, for some, with Mandarin subtitles.
- The 50 Programmes selected are progressively uploaded, with the last one to be put on line at the end of April 2019.
- To increase the impact of this action, URTI will subsequently upload additional programmes (in original languages only).
- The programmes are presented in preview version in mp4 sd format.
- URTI did the conversion of non-digital programmes to a digital format, as well as transcoded digital-to-digital conversion in mp4 and in one encoding to the most professional relevant format MXF, used by most of broadcasters.
- Specific encoding is also foreseen on demand for broadcasting on Chinese TVs (contact point: firstname.lastname@example.org- URTI project manager Alexandre Pletser)
URTI and ABU
URTI (International Radio TV Union), is an association of International Public Service Media, mainly in Europe and Africa, created in 1949 under the auspice of UNESCO. URTI started to develop a transcontinental project of exchanges of TV programmes with ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union). URTI tested in 2017 a specific successful exchange between two URTI and ABU members: RTBF in Belgium and TVRI in Indonesia at the occasion of the biggest Cultural Operation in Belgium: Europalia Indonesia. In November 2017, URTI signed an MoU with ABU to develop TV exchanges between Europe, Asia and Africa, that guarantees regular contacts with Asian Public Service Media, including Chinese Televisions.