Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2018 proudly presents
“Strategic Partnership in a New Era,
Rising Momentum for a Shared Future” (Press Release of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture)
The Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2018 (“GTEF” or “the Forum”) was unveiled today (23 October) with an opening ceremony at MGM Cotai in Macao. Under the theme of “Strategic Partnership in a New Era, Rising Momentum for a Shared Future”, this edition of GTEF features the European Union (“EU”) as its Partner Region and Guangdong as its Featured Partner Chinese Province, and leads a series of profound dialogues on the new momentum of strategic collaboration between EU and China with a special focus on cooperation across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Over 1,500 ministerial officials of tourism and related fields, industry leaders, experts, scholars and participants from different countries and regions across the globe, including delegations from the 28 member states of theEU and Guangdong Province, convene in Macao for this edition of GTEF. Over 120 journalists from international and local media are here to cover the two-day event.
The opening ceremony of the 7th GTEF was officiated by distinguished guests including Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, 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; Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and Honorary Chairman of GTEF, Gao Yunlong; Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili; Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region, Zhang Rongshun; Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Macao Special Administrative Region, Shen Peili; Member of the Ministry Leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China, Yu Qun; Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, Xu Ruisheng; Head of the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao,Carmen Cano De Lasala; Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zhu Shanzhong; Secretary General of International Mountain Tourism Alliance, Former Deputy Director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, Former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, He Yafei; Director General for Tourism and Regional Policy, Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria, Ulrike Rauch-Keschmann; Vice Minister for Economic Development of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, Viljar Lubi; Secretary of State of Tourism of Portugal, Ana Mendes Godinho; Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government and Executive Chairman of GTEF, Alexis Tam; Vice Chairman and Secretary‐General of GTEF, Pansy Ho; Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of UNWTO, Xu Jing, among other personages.
Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Chui Sai On, stated in his welcome remarks, “Tourism growth and innovation contributes to the sustainable development of the global economy and creates favorable conditions for the achievement of the goals specified in the United Nation's ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Thanks to the thorough support of the Central Government, Macao is committed to its goal to develop into a world centre of tourism and leisure, besides capitalizing on the advantages given by our unique system and strengths of the city in the regional context. Through organizing the Forum in Macao, we can march forward to expand the scope of regional collaboration in tourism and widen the channels to build external relations, which can drive quality enhancement and innovative development of the local tourism industry.” He added, “We look forward to distilling collective wisdom through this edition of the Forum, to build a greater consensus, introduce new perspectives as well as gain new momentum for sustainable tourism growth and the Belt and Road development in parallel with the implementation of the development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.”
Forum Chairman of GTEF, Ho Hau Wah, expressed in his welcome speech, “2018 marks both the fortieth anniversary of our nation’s reform and opening, and the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Under the theme of ‘Strategic Partnership in a New Era, Rising Momentum for a Shared Future’, GTEF 2018 presents both EU-China Tourism Year and the Development Plan for a City Cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area for a fresh perspective. The European Union is GTEF 2018 Partner Region. As the organizer of the Forum, Macao will showcase its distinctive platform role and join hands with China and the European Union to promote the diversified development of the tourism economy. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development plan is a national strategy designed, deployed and promoted by President Xi Jinping. Macao is both a critical junction of the Belt and Road, and an integral member of the Development Plan for a City Cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The nine cities in Guangdong Province, GTEF 2018 Featured Chinese Province, and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, are Macao’s partners in the Development Plan for a City Cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.”
In his opening remarks, Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili,said, “The Forum is an example of Macao’s focused and long-term economic vision, which prioritizes tourism development…This year’s Forum highlights the value of strategic partnerships for greater tourism momentum. We celebrate the Greater Bay Area vision for an economic and business hub connecting Macao with Hong Kong and nine cities in mainland China. The Greater Bay vision is symbolic of China’s progress, which has shifted power from the Atlantic to the Pacific in both economic and tourism terms. It proves China’s commitment to building the infrastructure that our connected world, and our tourism sector, needs for the future.”
Fully delivering a high-level platform for international tourism exchange and cooperation, GTEF facilitated the signing of ten agreements for tourism cooperation in this edition, including UNWTO & Macao SAR Training Programme Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Renewal, Collaborative Agreement of the Alliance for Developing Macao into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Tourism Education and Training Base, Partnership Agreement between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre regarding Joint Research on Asia Tourism Trends, and Macao Chinese Enterprise Association & GTERC MOU. In addition, China Chamber of Tourism and GTERC signed tripartite agreements separately with Guizhou Federation of Industry and Commerce, Hunan Federation of Industry and Commerce, Jiangxi Federation of Industry and Commerce, Shandong Federation of Industry and Commerce, Heilongjiang Federation of Industry and Commerce, as well as Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce to facilitate tourism development in the respective provinces.
The two-day programme encompasses thought-provoking discussions and exchanges, besides business-matching sessions joined by nearly 200 enterprises and organizations, as well as a GTEF exhibition featuring 20 of the above enterprises and organizations, providing a wealth of networking, investment and cooperation opportunities for delegates.
China-EU cooperation sets the tone for Forum discussions
In its Day 1 programme, GTEF not only featured its signature session “Face to Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs” in collaboration with UNWTO and “Festivals – Bridging Traditions and Tourism” in cooperation with WTCF, but also included two Special Keynotes on “Strategic China-EU Economic Partnerships in the New Era” and “2018 China-EU Tourism Year – Beginning of a New Chapter” respectively, as well as the Special Keynote Interview – “Strategic Partnership in Motion”.
UNWTO and GTERC delivered their fifth joint research report on Asia Tourism Trends during the Forum. A collaboration of UNWTO and GTERC, the report presents tourism trends and outlook of the Asia-Pacific region, analyzes Chinese Outbound Tourism to Europe and European Union Outbound Tourism to China, and examines the development potential of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a new growth area of Asia.
Day 2 agenda zooms in on Greater Bay Area
The agenda of Day 2 includes Special Keynotes on “Tourism Development in Greater Bay Area” and “Building a Travel Ecosystem and a New Lifestyle”; discussion panels themed as “Greater Bay Area Session Part I – China Enterprises Perspective” in cooperation with ACFIC; “Greater Bay Area Session Part II – Macao Perspective” in cooperation with The Macau Chinese Enterprise Association; and “Technology – The Virtual Bridge” in cooperation with PATA. There are also an array of concurrent sessions namely Youth Leaders Roundtable Meeting in cooperation with Greater Bay Area Youth Federation, “China Outbound Tourism” in cooperation with Ivy Alliance, “Gastronomy, Creativity, Tourism” in cooperation with UNESCO, Trade and Business Presentation, as well as PET Conference in cooperation with European Tourism Association (ETOA) and The European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA).
A lunch presentation was hosted by the EU, GTEF 2018 Partner Region, at Grand Hyatt Macau today (23 October) to introduce the unparalleled tourism attractions across Europe. On the other hand, Guangdong Province, GTEF 2018 Featured Partner Chinese Province, hosted the Guangdong Night – Presentation cum Dinner at MGM Cotai Theater last evening (22 October) to showcase the province’s profound cultural heritage and diverse tourism resources. Welcome remarks were delivered by Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, Xu Ruisheng, Director General of Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong Province, Wang Yiyang, and Director of Macao Government Tourism Office and Vice Chairman of GTEF, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, at the dinner.
The Global Tourism Economy Forum is hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), initiated and co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism under the authorization of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC). GTEF’s supporting units includethe Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao Special Administrative Region, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and European Travel Commission (ETC).