The 8th edition of the Global Tourism Economy Forum (“GTEF” or “the Forum”) concluded with success today (15 October) after carrying out a fruitful program of discussion panels, special interviews, business matching, destination presentations, exhibitions and more. A closing ceremony was held at MGM Cotai.
Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Forum Chairman of GTEF, Ho Hau Wah, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government and Executive Chairman of GTEF, Alexis Tam, and Vice Chairman and Secretary‐General of GTEF, Pansy Ho,were among the major guests present at the closing ceremony.
Centred on the concept of “Beautiful Life” raised by President Xi Jinping, the 8th edition of GTEF led profound discussions on global tourism economy under the theme of “Tourism and Leisure: Roadmap to a Beautiful Life”, gaining insights in how a diversified tourism offering can meet the ever-increasing needs of international visitors, enhancing happiness and the quality of life, ultimately creating a harmonious and beautiful life for humanity.
Conclusion for the 8th GTEF
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government and Executive Chairman of GTEF, Alexis Tam, stated in his closing remarks, “This 8th edition of the Global Tourism Economy Forum convenes under the theme ‘Tourism and Leisure: Roadmap to a Beautiful Life’. As stakeholders in tourism, we should all aspire to a thriving industry that creates beautiful places to visit for travellers, without discounting the quality of life for people living near them.”
He continued, “This year, we are glad to partner with these emerging markets, namely Argentina, Brazil, and the Chinese province of Jiangsu, to discuss on the strongest strategies that prepare us for the changes in tourism industry, and link us with the reflection on how tourism and sustainability connect under the framework of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.”
He concluded, “2019 is a momentous year for Macao as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China as well as the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region. It is a high time to further our development as a world centre of tourism and leisure, under the colourful backdrop of the Belt and Road initiative and with the collaborative actions with our brother cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In particular, we will continue to make the case for cultural tourism as the key to our ‘soft power’ success and transfer it as a driving force that underpins our creativity sector.”
In her concluding remarks, Vice Chairman and Secretary‐General of GTEF, Pansy Ho, said, “GTEF was founded upon the mission of connecting East-West tourism interests; through our collaboration, we are getting down to real business here, consolidating Macao’s potential to become a tourism capital hub in fueling regional tourism growth.
Investments are not only channeled into conventional hospitality products, but also in cross-sectoral areas including infrastructure, transportation, gastronomy, arts, information technology, sports and education. With these upgrades, tourists are not the only beneficiaries but the whole destination, the whole community and all its people.
Through GTEF, I hope we have also showcased how Macao itself is another living proof of the transformational power of tourism. In Macao, not only have we continued to reinvest, but to reinvent. Blessed by our national policy, Macao is ready to take on another wave of development, as we continue to integrate into the Greater Bay Area framework, contributing our tourism experience to drive cross-industry collaboration with our neighbors, to share our culture and heritage with the world, and instill a sense of national pride among our people.”
GTEF 2020 features Italy as Partner Country and Gansu as Featured Chinese Province
Following that, the Forum announced Italy as GTEF 2020 Partner Country and Gansu Province as Featured Chinese Province. Italy, the first country in the Group of Seven (G7) to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its diplomatic relations with China in 2020. Italy’s partnership with GTEF represents the Forum’s fifth tourism collaboration with European countries and regions over the years, which will further deepen tourism exchange and cooperation between China and Europe. During the closing ceremony, a brief overview about Italy’s latest tourism and economic situation was presented by Consul General of Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong, Clemente Contestabile. GTEF also welcomed its renewed partnership with Gansu since the inaugural edition, as Featured Chinese Province once again in 2020. Associate Counsel of Gansu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, Zhang Hua, delivered a spectacular destination presentation at the closing ceremony. Delegates were offered a window on the diverse resources and business opportunities in Gansu, a northwestern Chinese province enriched with profound traditions.
Publication of Special Report on Asia Tourism Trends
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) presented the latest edition of UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends, familiarizing delegates with the latest tourism trends and outlook of the region, the immense opportunities for tourism development in Argentina and Brazil, as well as the vast potential of health and sports tourism as new growth areas in Asia. The report offered delegates the foresight to tap into golden opportunities for tourism investment and cooperation worldwide.
The business matching session successfully bridged 142 tourism suppliers and operators from China, Argentina, Brazil and Europe, unlocking cooperation and exchange opportunities with each other.
GTEF 2019 successfully gathered and engaged close to 2,000 participants including ministerial officials of tourism and related fields, industry leaders, experts, scholars and participants from across the globe, along with delegations from GTEF 2019 Partner Countries Argentina and Brazil, as well as Featured Chinese Province Jiangsu.
The Global Tourism Economy Forum is hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, initiated and co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism under the authorization of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), co-organized by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre. GTEF’s supporting units includethe Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and European Travel Commission (ETC).
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