President Barack Obama laughs while talking with at British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, during a G7 session Thursday in Brussels. Charles Dharapak/AP
President Barack Obama laughs while talking with at British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, during a G7 session Thursday in Brussels. Charles Dharapak/AP

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries, namely Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States, will be meeting in Germany for the G7 summit on June 7 and 8. And where exactly?

President Barack Obama laughs while talking with at British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, during a G7 session Thursday in Brussels. Charles Dharapak/AP
President Barack Obama laughs while talking with at British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, during a G7 session Thursday in Brussels.
Charles Dharapak/AP

You will probably guess it will be a major German city such as Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich. Well, guess again. The summit is to be held at Schloss Elmau in the German state of Bavaria. Never heard of it? You are not alone.
Schloss Elmau is a luxury hotel in the Bavarian Alps, located in the municipality Krun in Bavaria, and close to the ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Aside from its unbeatable scenery, the hotel also features numerous top-notch performances, drawing world-renowned artists, especially musicians.
Let’s hope all the G7 leaders don’t lose their way in the Alps and miss the opening of the summit as they head toward the secluded hotel. As unusual as the venue might be, it’s not rare that hosts of major international conferences choose venues located in small places, far removed from the public eye.
For example, Germany hosted the G8 summit in 2007 in Heiligendamm, a small resort on the Baltic Sea coast. China held the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings at Yanqi Lake, a scenic spot about 50 km northeast of downtown Beijing. The World Economic Forum is famous for its annual winter meeting in Davos, a ski resort in the Alps, located in Graubunden, eastern Switzerland.
The advantages of these small places seem obvious, as the beautiful natural scenery and tranquility constitute a favorable environment for global heavyweights to discuss major political and economic issues. It’s easier for them to feel relaxed and focused in discussions at such out-of-the-way venues, and possibly enjoy a group vacation.
But that’s not all. In cases such as the G7 summit, security concerns might also have influenced the choice of site. With venues far away from the center of the city, potential protesters would be kept away or at least find it harder to reach the sites, making it less likely that conferences will be disrupted.
Whatever the reasons behind the choice of venue, some places off the beaten track have claimed global fame thanks to high-class international conferences or events. Along with Davos, there is Boao in China’s southern island province Hainan, known for the Boao Forum for Asia, and Sochi, a Russian tourist destination on the coast of the Black Sea, which experienced a boost in popularity after hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. Enditem

–Xinhua

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