Alexis Tam leads delegation to attend UNWTO General Assembly

Alexis Tam leads delegation to attend UNWTO General Assembly

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) convened the 23rd Session of its General Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia this morning (11 September). Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, led a delegation of Macao, China to attend the General Assembly and join other delegates in a forward-looking dialogue on how the tourism sector can foster the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through education and employment. The Macao Special Administrative Region Government is striving to push forward its engagement and collaboration with major international tourism organizations and consolidate Macao’s status as a tourist city in the regional and international tourism community.

Held biennially, the UNWTO General Assembly is the largest and highest-level meeting for the global tourism community, attended by senior tourism officials and leaders of the private sector from around the world. Themed as “Education and Employment in Tourism, realizing SDG 4 and SDG 8”, this Session of the UNWTO General Assembly convenes from 9 – 13 September, bringing together delegations from over 120 countries and regions as well as over 90 ministerial officials. Secretary Alexis Tam led a delegation comprising Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Advisors of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Charles Lam and Stella Leong, MGTO Head of Communication and External Relations Department, Kathy Iong, and others to participate in the General Assembly and pertinent activities in the program.

The 23rd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly features over ten sessions including Plenary Sessions, High Level Forum on Medical and Health Tourism, High Level Summit on Innovation and Sustainable Development in Tourism, Ministerial debate on "Education and Employment in Tourism", other themed sessions and Regional Committee Meetings, etc. The General Assembly commenced this morning with an opening address delivered by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Alexis Tam and the delegation attended the Plenary Session and the High Level Forum on Medical and Health Tourism, and also met with Executive Director of UNWTO, Zhu Shanzhong, and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at UNWTO, Xu Jing. During the meeting, Alexis Tam presented the array of tourism initiatives conducted in Macao in parallel with the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the progress of coordination for the Global Tourism Economy Forum. With regard to UNWTO’s project of establishing International Tourism Academies in different parts of the world, Alexis Tam indicated that the Special Administrative Region Government is committed to contributing to the national development and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, and thereby will actively push forward the implementation of the project in Macao. During the General Assembly, Alexis Tam met with the ministers of Brazil and Argentina, both of whom confirmed their upcoming presence in the Global Tourism Economy Forum to be held in Macao this October.

Participating in UNWTO as an Associate Member, Macao, China has been actively supporting and engaging in events and projects organized by the Organization throughout the years towards the goal of strengthening international tourism cooperation. The Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF), hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture, is a partner for the Organization’s Awards Ceremony in 2019, while UNWTO is the Forum’s collaborative partner this year.

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