The 1st China (Beijing) Leisure Congress was hosted from the 22 to the 24 September 2017 and counted with the participation of the Chairman of the WLO Board of Directors, Roger Coles, member of WLO Board of Directors Lawal Marafa and Jack Agrios, who delivered keynote speeches. At the Congress, there were about 400 participants from all walks of life at the Pinggu District. The Congress and the presentations were structured with a main forum immediately after the opening ceremony and three parallel sessions with more than 150 participants at each session. The theme of the Congress was “Leisure makes life better”, appropriately so. There were subthemes for the parallel sessions included “Leisure City Development in China”, “Integration and Development of Leisure Industry” and “Era of All-people Leisure”.

The dynamism of the event and the energy and enthusiasm that resonated within and around the venue was clearly unprecedented in the history of local leisure events. The team of participants, the hospitality of the organizers, the pampering of the volunteers and the splashes and flashes of the media that constantly recorded the activities was a scene to behold. The last day of the congress was a field visit to showcase the agro-ecological environment that surrounds the district of Pinggu, the heritage and the temple that stood towering on the highest local elevation and the local delicacies that were served in a leisurely manner made the participants to indeed want to come back to Pinggu. As one of the participants exclaimed, “if this is a rehearsal to the World Leisure Congress”, we cannot wait to see what is on offer for the Pinggu 2020 WL Congress, Beijing, China.