Joint Working Committee on Tourism to Support Macao's Aspirations to Build a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure holds annual work meeting

Secretaries General of the Joint Working Committee on Tourism sign the meeting memorandum

The “2016 Annual Work Meeting of Joint Working Committee on Tourism to Support Macao's Aspirations to Build a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure" was held in Zhuhai, Guangdong this morning (24 February). The meeting was attended by officials from the entities concerned, including China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province and the People’s Government of Zhuhai Municipality. The meeting discussed numerous issues on the agenda regarding measures to foster Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure in light of the latest prospect. The meeting parties also confirmed the tasks in 2016 and signed the meeting memorandum. Vice Chairman of CNTA, Du Jiang, and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, both delivered a speech during the annual work meeting as the Conveners of the “Joint Working Committee on Tourism to Support Macao's Aspirations to Build a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure" (“Joint Working Committee on Tourism”). Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Yao Jian, addressed the meeting as well. Following the remarks, Head of the Department of Affairs on Tourism of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan of CNTA, Liu Kezhi, and MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, both the Secretary General of the Joint Working Committee on Tourism, presented current trends in tourism and elaborated on the directions of tourism planning involving Macao in the 13th Five-Year Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the overall planning on Macao tourism development and regional cooperation in tourism. Major members of the Joint Working Committee on Tourism and the officials from the Mainland and Macao discussed various issues and reached a consensus during the work meeting. The agenda include new means and paths to deepen regional tourism integration and cooperation between Macao and the Mainland in 2016, application of diverse platforms to foster development and joint promotion of new tour routes and products. The meeting parties also shared the Mainland’s and Macao’s latest tourism trends, and exchanged ideas to strengthen cooperation on tourism industry management. The Convener of the Joint Working Committee on Tourism and CNTA Vice Chairman, Du Jiang, expressed congratulations on the success of the meeting and stated clear requirements for the Joint Committee’s tasks to carry out in 2016. He pointed out the necessity to take a broader perspective on the latest prospect faced by Macao along its path to develop into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. Mainland tourism industry, in its prime at present, will generate a new momentum for Macao tourism industry to go forward. The 13th Five-Year Plan, Belt and Road Initiative, free trade zones and CEPA are among the national strategies which have rolled out incredible advantages and golden opportunities in history for Macao’s transformation into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. The Joint Committee is required to fully recognize that its annual tasks to foster Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure help to fulfill and realize the Country’s macroscopic strategies for tourism industry development in the new era at practical level. In order to do so, the Committee has to incorporate the strategies into its annual task accomplishment and give full play to the function of its system. More than that, the Committee serves to enhance communication and coordination for stronger team efforts and greater influence of its system.   The Convener of the Joint Working Committee on Tourism and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, remarked that the proposals in the 13th Five-Year Plan indicate the Country’s continuous support to Macao’s positioning as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, and its development into a world-famous and modern tourist destination that meets global standards. The SAR Government understood that building the city into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure is a huge project at many levels, which not only involves collaboration among departments with different functions in the SAR Government but also requires concerted efforts and support of all local residents. The SAR Government will put stronger efforts in coordination, and strive to deepen and widen the level of cooperation across various entities, fields and levels regarding urban transportation, accommodation, hospitality and manpower in tourism industry as well as promotion of tourism awareness among other aspects. By making such endeavors, the SAR Government is dedicated to transforming Macao not only into a great city to live and work in, but also into a fascinating destination to visit and explore on foot with vibrant choices of fun and entertainment. Secretary Tam believes that the work meeting will further enhance cooperation between CNTA and MGTO, and will certainly make a positive influence on the SAR Government’s formulation and implementation of work planning for the future. Last but not least, Secretary Tam expressed gratitude to CNTA for its long-term support to the SAR Government’s work in tourism which has created favorable conditions for Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Yao Jian, expressed that the Central Government highly regards and supports Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. Once again, the proposals in the 13th Five-Year Plan clearly suggest supporting Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure and a service platform for business cooperation between China and Portugal, as well as adequate diversification and sustainable development of Macao’s economy. He pointed out that despite the complex and ever-changing prospect of the global economy, the tourism industry in China and across the world is trending upward against the economic downturn. The positive trends have created important opportunities and given confidence for Macao to uplift the local economy and unleash its competitive advantages as a tourism destination. Over the years, the SAR Government has taken active measures to build the city into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure with a harvest of achievements. In 2015, the SAR Government established the Committee for Development of the World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, chaired by the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, and announced a groundwork proposal for the Macao SAR’s five-year development plan. The plan has laid a key foundation for Macao to enhance its top-down design, coordination, planning and systematic implementation of tasks to build the city into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. After the Conveners made concluding remarks, the two Secretaries General of the Joint Working Committee on Tourism signed the meeting memorandum. Officials and guests who attended the meeting include: Director of Asia Tourism Exchange Center, Li Jianping; Deputy Head of the Department of Affairs on Tourism of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan of CNTA, Ren Jiayan; Deputy Heads of Economic Department of Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Kou Ming and Zhu Hong; Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province Director General, Zeng Yingru, and Deputy Director General, Mei Qijie; Vice Mayor of Zhuhai Municipal People’s Government, Long Guangyan; Director of Zhuhai Culture Sports and Tourism Bureau, Wang Lingping; Director of the Management Committee of Hengqin New Area, Niu Jing among others. Coming from Macao, Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ip Peng Kin, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Advisors of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Charles Lam and Stella Leong, MGTO Deputy Director Cecilia Tse, among others. In June 2015, the Macao SAR Government and CNTA signed the “Agreement between Macao and the Mainland about Establishment of a Joint Working Committee on Tourism to Support Macao's Aspirations to Build a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure”. Since establishment, the Joint Working Committee on Tourism unfolded a range of tasks, including invitations made to superiors, experts and scholars from the Mainland and Macao to participate in an expert seminar for discussions on the issue about how to foster Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure under the latest prospect. The Committee also arranged a delegation of Taiwanese media and travel agency executives to inspect multi-destination tour routes in Macao and Zhuhai, to enhance regional cooperation in tourism. In addition, the Committee supported Macao to host the Global Tourism Economy Forum and Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo, as part of its strenuous endeavor to foster Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.

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