A new and unique international research centre has been launched by Leeds Metropolitan University, Yunnan Normal University and Yunnan Education Centre for International Exchange in China.

The Sino-UK Centre for Research in Events and Tourism (SUCRET) is the first of its kind to be established between a UK university and a Chinese counterpart.

Led by Professor Rhodri Thomas, Dr ShiNa Li and Visiting Professor Yunfang Li for Leeds Metropolitan, SUCRET will invest in academic exchanges, international research projects in events and tourism, industry training and consultancy and joint postgraduate courses in the UK and China through both full-time and distance learning.

The research centre is also beginning plans to host an international conference on sustainable tourism and events planning policy in October 2014 in Yunnan.

Professor Thomas, Director of the International Centre for Tourism, Events and Hospitality (ICRETH), commented: "We have ambitious plans that will - by bringing together our collective expertise - enable us to undertake pioneering projects and act as a conduit for informing the work of Chinese and British government departments, NGOs and businesses."

Leeds Metropolitan University will be contributing the specialist expertise of ICRETH in the areas of responsible management of tourism and events and the evaluation of the impact and implications of tourism and events.

SUCRET has evolved from work undertaken by Dr ShiNa Li in Kunming over the last two years and includes of a number of academic experts in the fields of events and tourism at Leeds Met and several universities and research institutes at Yunnan Province. Academics from leading UK Chinese research centres and representatives from NGOs (including the Head of Tourism at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Chief Executive of the British Chinese Business Association have also been recruited to sit on the advisory board.

The press conference for the inauguration of Sino-UK Centre for Research in Events and Tourism (SUCRET) was held at Kunming, Yunnan Province, China on 8 November 2013. The launch news has been widely reported in a number of famous news webpages such as China Daily (one of the most influential newspapers in China), Yunnan Reporter Station of Xihua News Agency, Yunnan Daily, Chun Cheng Evening News, China Tour, Phoenix New Media in China. Hong Kong, and Taiwan news have also covered the conference