The Joint Working Committee on Tourism 2019 Annual Work Meeting was held in Macao (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
Central Government and Macao Government officials attended the 2019 Annual Work Meeting (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
Joint Working Committee on Tourism 2019 Annual Work Meeting Held Last Month
The Joint Working Committee on Tourism to Support the Development of Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure convened its 2019 Annual Work Meeting in Macao on 15th October. The Joint Working Committee presented the work progress of the Committee over the last year and had an in-depth discussion on work tasks for 2019, providing a clear work objective on promoting Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure.
The two Conveners of the Joint Working Committee, namely, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang Xu, together with Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Yao Jian expressed their opinions during the meeting.
During the meeting, the Joint Working Committee’s important role in promoting Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure was reaffirmed, with each member receiving positive result on implementing national tourism policies in favour of Macao, promoting Macao’s development into a world centre of tourism and leisure, deepening tourism cooperation across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as enhancing market supervision, study tours and destination marketing. In 2019, the Joint Working Committee has reached a consensus on various cooperation areas, including, to support Macao’s integration with the national development, promote Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure, assist the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and deepen cultural and tourism co-operation between Macao and the Mainland, all with the objective to pragmatically promote Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure.
Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Zhang Xu pointed out in the meeting that announcement of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, steady implementation of national strategies including development of the Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road, as well as the gradual opening of the Mainland market in trade and services towards Macao have all contributed to bigger development opportunities for Macao. He hoped that Macao will seize the opportunities to give full play to its own advantages, actively participate in the construction of the Greater Bay Area and enhance moderate and diversified development of its economy. He also hoped that the advantages of the committee’s mechanism can be fully utilized and the new trend in cultural and tourism co-operation between Mainland and Macao to be proactively explored, in turn leading to a high quality development in the culture and tourism industry.
Secretary Tam noted that despite the competitive edges enjoyed by the local tourism industry, Macao is faced with different challenges in areas of tourism carrying capacity, human resources, industry diversification as well as industry regulation and so forth, which still require further optimisation. With the Joint Working Committee mechanism, Macao can enhance communication and co-operation with related tourism departments in the Mainland, foster integration of Macao with the national development and promote tourism co-operation across the Greater Bay Area. In addition, the mechanism has a significant role on promoting tourism safety, market supervision and sustainable development of tourism.
Deputy Director of the Liaison Office Yao Jian said that tourism has become one of the most fruitful areas of exchanges and cooperation between the Mainland and Macao. The Joint Working Committee has radiated its major functions as a platform and mechanism, while Macao’s tourism industry has made brand new progress mainly as follows: top-level design was strengthened with more meticulous planning of development strategies; infrastructure was reinforced with enhancement in tourism service capacity; the supply of tourism products increased, in addition to the creation of a more tourist-friendly environment. He believed that as the Joint Working Committee continuously optimises its working mechanism, Macao’s cultural and tourism industries will move towards stronger and sounder development.
Furthermore, to highlight the advantages brought by profound integration between the areas of culture and tourism as well as to foster communication and coordination, Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government was included into the Joint Working Committee as a member entity. The dual driver of culture and tourism will provide new momentum to the development of Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure.
Mainland officials and dignitaries at the meeting included representatives of the following units of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China: Bureau for International Exchange and Cooperation (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office), Department of Policies and Regulations, Arts Department, Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Department of Resource Development, Department of Market Supervision and Department of Cultural Market Administration. The meeting was also attended by officials representing other Mainland entities which included Asia Tourism Exchange Center, Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong, the Zhuhai Municipal Government and so forth. From Macao, Director of Macao Government Tourism Office Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, President of Cultural Affairs Bureau Mok Ian Ian, Acting Director of Education and Youth Affairs Bureau Wong Kin Mou, along with advisers of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture attended the meeting.