GTEF is grandly unveiled (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, presents a Letter of Appreciation to Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
The ‘Face to Face - Ministers and Private Sector CEOs’ session lined up ministerial officials of tourism and related fields (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
Top investment experts and tourism leaders shared their experiences in Financing Conference (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
Global Tourism Economy Forum．Macao 2019 explored new avenues for tourism and leisure
Under the theme of ‘Tourism and Leisure: Roadmap to a Beautiful Life’, the 8th edition of the Global Tourism Economy Forum (‘GTEF’ or ‘the Forum’), held from 13th to 15th October. The Forum is featuring Argentina and Brazil as the Partner Countries and Jiangsu as the Featured Chinese Province this year. It successfully gathered and engaged close to 2000 participants including ministerial officials, industry leaders, experts, scholars and participants of tourism and related fields from across the globe.
Hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) Government, the opening ceremony of GTEF invited officiating guests including Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Chui Sai On; Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Forum Chairman of GTEF, Ho Hau Wah; Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region, Fu Ziying; Secretary-General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili; Executive Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), Xu Lejiang; among other individualities from around the world.
Centred on the concept of ‘Beautiful Life’ raised by President Xi Jinping, the Forum led forward-thinking discussions on global tourism economy under the theme ‘Tourism and Leisure: Roadmap to a Beautiful Life’. GTEF 2019 presented a series of spectacular highlights, which aside from the opening and closing ceremonies, included discussion panels, special interviews, exhibition, business matching, networking sessions and more. On the opening day of the Forum, the ‘Face to Face - Ministers and Private Sector CEOs’ session lined up ministerial officials of tourism and related fields from Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Cambodia, Myanmar and other countries for a high-level dialogue. Under the topic of ‘How Tourism, Leisure and Sports Lead to a Beautiful Life’, leaders from the private and public sectors explored how innovation and cooperation in tourism, leisure and sports can enhance travelers’ experiences and lives of people in local host communities, and contribute to a beautiful life. Topics were under in-depth discussion, which including ‘how the development and growth of diverse tourism markets, such as adventure, eco-tourism, sports and wellness, affect the industry both regionally and globally’, and others related topics.
In addition, the finals of the first edition of ‘UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure: SportsTech’ was organised in Macao during the period of the Forum. Over 100 start-ups from around the world joined the contest. Among them, five enterprises (from Lebanon, Japan, the United States, Spain and Belgium) entered the finals and were invited to Macao and presented to the judging panel at the Forum how their business plans may attract investors.
Another new highlight in the Forum was the ‘GTEF．World Tourism Investment and Financing Conference’. Three round-table panel sessions were held to explore the topics of ‘Tourism Investment and Cooperation in the Global Multilateral System’, "Potential of Chinese Tourism Investment & Cooperation Opportunities in ‘Belt and Road’ Projects" and ‘Valuation of Tourism Project: Investment & Financing Strategy’. Some of the world’s top investment experts and tourism leaders shared their experiences in international tourism investment and financing, and inspired delegates to identify hotspots and trends of global tourism investment, so as to facilitate exchange and cooperation between investment institutions and related project owners.
The sixth Joint Research Report on Asia Tourism Trends was jointly released by UNWTO and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC). In addition to illustrating tourism trends and outlook for the Asia-Pacific region, the Report placed a special focus on the market potential of Chinese outbound tourism to Latin America, in particular to Argentina and Brazil. 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. In addition, the Forum’s exhibition allowed over 10 entities comprising official tourism organisations of Argentina and Brazil, as well as tourism enterprises from Mainland China and Macao, to showcase their tourism products to delegates from worldwide.
During the closing ceremony of the event, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government and Executive Chairman of GTEF, Alexis Tam, hailed the success of discussions brought by the event, stating that "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."
In her concluding remarks, Vice Chairman and Secretary‐General of GTEF, Pansy Ho, highlighted the role of Macao in hosting the event, saying that "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."
At the closing of the event, it was announced that to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Italy in 2020, Italy will be the Partner Country for GTEF 2020. The partnership between GTEF and Italy represents the fifth tourism collaboration between the Forum and European countries and regions over the years, which will further deepen tourism exchange and cooperation between China and Europe. Meanwhile, GTEF also welcomed its renewed partnership with Gansu since the inaugural edition, as Featured Chinese Province once again in 2020.
For more information, please visit: www.gte-forum.com.
UNWTO presents Secretary Tam with Letter of Appreciation
During the opening ceremony of GTEF, the ‘Ceremony of Appreciation for Macao SAR’s Contribution to Human Capital Development in Tourism - UNWTO and Macao SAR Joint Initiatives Report and Letter of Appreciation Presentation’ was held. Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, presented a Letter of Appreciation to Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, for the latter’s contribution to development of human capital in tourism worldwide. The Letter made special reference to the training programmes offered to participants from UNWTO member states by the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training at the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), in collaboration with UNWTO. In addition, Alexis Tam delivered to UNWTO a report on the initiatives and achievements of the IFT Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training by far.
In addition, during GTEF welcome dinner, Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, pointed out during his speech that the Macao SAR and UNWTO will expand their collaboration on tourism education and training, with UNWTO set to establish an International Tourism Academy in Macao to foster human capital development in the tourism industry.