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Danish Prime Minister meets pandas and promotes tourism in Chengdu

12.06.2017  05:18

On Tuesday, 2nd of May, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen started his three-day visit to China in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. In the city, he prioritized to meet with Sichuan leaders, promote tourism to Denmark under the ongoing 2017 “China-Denmark Tourism Year”, visit Danish companies and finally yet importantly, pay a visit to the pandas that will soon be going to Denmark.

In Chengdu, Prime Minister Rasmussen was greeted by Wang Dongming, Party Secretary of Sichuan Province. The two leaders discussed about potential fields where Denmark and Sichuan could further cooperate.

At the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the Prime Minister met the two pandas going to Denmark.

“I am happy to see the pandas that will set off for Denmark soon. This is a gesture of goodwill from the Chinese government following Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark’s State Visit to China in 2014. We will value them as a symbol of friendship between Denmark and China,” said Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The Panda House in Copenhagen Zoo is set to open to the public in 2018, just in time for the arrival of the two giant pandas from Chengdu.

The circular-shaped structure, inspired by the Chinese philosophy Yin and Yang, covers a space of 2,500 square meters. World renowned architecture and landscape firms include BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and Schønherr Landscape Architects will collaborate on this project that will cost around DKK 150 million (RMB 150 million).

The tourism exchanges between Denmark and China have also increased in recent years. The Danish government forecasts to receive 262,000 Chinese outbound travelers this year, up from 218,000 in 2016. The figure stood at 50,000 in 2009. The Prime Minister also extended an invitation.

“We welcome more Chinese tourists to come to the other side of this continent to explore what Denmark has to offer. New policies aiming at smoothening visa application procedures will be introduced in the months to come, and we look forward to seeing you in the ‘world’s happiest nation’ with quality services and good food,” said Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The Danish government has made it easier for individual travelers from China to obtain a visa, by rescinding the requirement for having a Danish host and moving Chinese visa applicants up to categorization group 1 in the new visa statement. A preferential scheme was launched for Chinese tour operators, under which reduced documentation requirements and a shorter visa processing time will apply to them. In addition, three more Danish Visa Application Centers (VACs) will open in Xi’an, Shenzhen and Fuzhou this year, adding up to 12 VACs across the country. Last year, five VACs opened in Chengdu, Hangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing and Shenyang.

These new measures will further ignite Chinese travelers’ passion for this Nordic country, following that a social media post by the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing about an invasive plague of Pacific oysters along Limfjord’s shores in Northern Jutland has attracted hundreds of thousands of replies on a possible “eating tour” to Denmark.

The Prime Minister and Cai Jinghui, President of China’s largest outbound travel platform, jointly kicked start an online competition, which would send one selected Chinese Internet user, together with China’s well-known social media account operator “UK Sister”, to Denmark in late May.

The Prime Minister also paid a visit to Taikoo Li, a commercial complex in a restored historical site in downtown Chengdu, to visit the Danish companies located in the area.

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