The annual international event for the tourism industry, the Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macau 2016 ('GTEF') was hosted on 15th and 16th October at Studio City Macau. The Forum achieved fruitful results over two days of various sessions and thought-provoking discussions.
Gathering of ministers and industry leaders
Themed 'The Growing Consumer Class – Rethinking and Reshaping the Future Tourism Landscape', the fifth anniversary edition effectively forged multilateral co-operation through its advanced international platform for tourism exchange and co-operation, attracting various ministerial officials from different countries, leaders from globally‐renowned enterprises, as well as experts and scholars zeroing in on how this rising resourceful and tech-savvy group is more than ever the increasingly influential force in the tourism industry. Over 1,300 delegates from many countries and cities around the world attended the Forum with fruitful results. The Forum also featured its first Partner Country, France, in this edition whilst Partner City Beijing Municipality also formed a delegation to join the event. Some 200 media representatives arrived from home and abroad to cover the event.
France and Beijing as featured partners
For the first time, GTEF invited two world-famous destinations to be its featured partners. As GTEF's partner country, France spoke about its fascinating dimensions in different fields including tourism as a whole, investment, artistic and cultural tourism as well as the promotion of trade and commerce during wide-ranging sessions in the Forum. Featured as GTEF's partner city, Beijing Municipality showcased its glamour as a cultural tourism destination through a mega exhibition, in addition to holding a destination presentation and a business matching session, among other activities.
Thought-provoking GTEF programme
This GTEF heard the third Joint Annual Report on Asia Tourism Trends presented by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Global Tourism Economy Research Centre , while the Forum featured a range of thematic sessions including its signature 'Face to Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs' session in collaboration with UNWTO, where leadership from the public and private sectors tackled the subject of 'Harnessing 1 Billion+ Opportunities'; and 'GTEF 5th Anniversary Special Keynote – The Forces Shaping China's Economic Future'. Featuring GTEF's partner country France, the session titled 'France: Arts and Culture as Drivers of Tourism' sparked discussion on how cultural and artistic festivities can attract visitation.
Forum extends influence to community and education
This edition of the Forum was also substantially contributed to by the local tourism industry and provided training opportunities for local tertiary students. In particular, GTEF published the Experience Macao Travel Guide, introducing delegates to the unique cultures and tourism resources in different districts across the city, for the purpose of promoting community tourism in Macao and broadening GTEF's positive impact upon the community at large. This year, GTEF also initiated an intensive MICE hospitality training programme for the first time, offering opportunities for 20 local tertiary students to take part in the high-level international meeting and take up hospitality roles such as guest reception and exhibition ambassador during GTEF 2016. The training programme achieved great results. In light of this, GTEF will continue its training initiative to nurture the next generation of MICE professionals in Macao with a series of internship programmes to be launched in 2017 for local tertiary students dedicated to pursuing a career in the field of MICE tourism.
Central and Eastern European Countries as partner countries and Guizhou as partner province in GTEF 2017
The sixth GTEF edition is scheduled to be held in Macao in 2017. The Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) will be GTEF 2017's partner countries. The new partnerships in the sixth edition not only symbolise GTEF's expansion of its European network for two consecutive years, but also set a larger number of partner countries, as well as Guizhou being the partner province in GTEF 2017. More innovations in the programme and format are planned for the next Forum, promising an international platform for its collaborative partners to forge tourism co-operation across industries, sectors and regions.
The Global Tourism Economy Forum• Macau 2016 was hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, co-organised by the China Chamber of Tourism, and co-ordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre in collaboration with UNWTO, supporting entities included the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, 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, China National Tourism Administration, World Travel and Tourism Council, Pacific Asia Travel Association, World Tourism Cities Federation, and Macao Government Tourism Office.