The Joint Working Committee to Support the Development of Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure has gathered in Beijing on 27 September for its annual work meeting. The committee covered a range of issues, including measures to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19, and the resumption of full-scale activity in the culture and tourism industries.
The Joint Working Committee includes officials and representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR. Attending the meeting were also representatives from across a number of other government units in the Mainland, Guangdong Province and Macao – including the Macao Government Tourism Office.
Each of the members stated during the meeting it had resumed work on various initiatives, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and each had made substantial progress in different tasks.
The two Conveners of the Joint Working Committee, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Zhang Xu and Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ao Ieong U, delivered remarks at the annual work meeting.
Vice Minister Zhang said measures to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19 had significantly facilitated the overall planning for resumption of activities in the cultural and tourism industries in the Mainland and Macao, as well as of initiatives related to Macao’s development as “one centre and one base” (i.e. a world centre of tourism and leisure, and a base for exchange and cooperation where Chinese culture is the mainstream and diverse cultures coexist).
He expressed a hope that the committee’s plans and coordination would enable the bodies represented on the committee to make concerted efforts to foster the revival of the culture and tourism industries after the pandemic.
Vice Minister Zhang exhorted the bodies represented to seek opportunities amid challenges, while guiding and encouraging the culture and tourism industries to develop new products and explore innovative ways of working, together steering both industries towards improvement, in line with China’s 14th Five-Year Plan and the development strategy for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, in support of the determination of Macao to play an integral part in national development.
Macao confronts challenges
Secretary Ao Ieong expressed her sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for continually mobilising the appropriate bodies in Mainland China to help Macao reach the goal of positing itself as a world centre of tourism and leisure.
She said the Macao SAR Government was preparing for the establishment of a committee that would support the development of Macao into an exchange and cooperation base where Chinese culture prevails and different cultures flourish in harmony, enhancing Macao’s development according to the “one base” policy, through profound and comprehensive planning.
Macao’s exchange and collaboration with the Mainland in the fields of culture and tourism would deepen, in turn stimulating recovery in Macao after the pandemic. Secretary Ao Ieong added that Macao would step up to the challenges with unwavering confidence that after the pandemic, the cultural and tourism industries would move forward with a new momentum brought by concerted development which would contribute to overall economic revitalisation in Macao.
During the meeting, members heard about the progress of the committee’s work in 2019 and 2020, and were given an overview of the development of the culture and tourism industries in Mainland China and Macao. Among the discussions was: support for the integration of Macao with national development; facilitating the goal of the SAR becoming a world centre of tourism and leisure; building an exchange and cooperation base where Chinese culture prevails and different cultures flourish in harmony; supporting the development of the Greater Bay Area; and deepening cultural and tourism collaboration between the Mainland and Macao.
Measures to stimulate economy
The meeting discussed the implementation of measures to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19 in Macao, and looked at the steps taken to restore gradually activity in the tourism industry in Mainland China and Macao.
The members also exchanged views on: measures to stimulate economic recovery in Macao and revive the culture and tourism industries; spurring implementation of measures in the fields of culture and tourism listed in the Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA); branding the major culture and tourism exhibitions in Macao and enhancing collaboration by Mainland China and Macao in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry; fostering exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture and the arts, promoting multiple-destination tour itineraries in the Greater Bay Area; planning for the development of the culture and tourism industries in the Greater Bay Area and drafting of implementation strategies; implementing the “Overall Plan for the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone”; and pushing forward with the Hengqin International Leisure Tourism Island project.
The meeting also considered: the development of Macao as a tourism education and training base for the Greater Bay Area; increasing cooperation by Mainland China and Macao, and exchanges between them, in the field of tourism; enhancing joint marketing by Mainland Chinese and Macao tourism offices abroad; building multi-destination, international-quality travel itineraries and products; refining the collaborative scheme for enforcement of laws and regulations on the Mainland and Macao tourism markets; and enhancing the results of youth exchange between the two sides.