The Global Tourism Economy Forum will unveil its sixth edition in Macao from 16 to 17 October under the theme of "Regional Collaboration towards a Better Future". Championing China's visionary Belt and Road Initiative, GTEF 2017 explores how tourism collaboration characterized by shared interests and mutual respect is conducive to building a better future among nations and regions, with the aspiration to create opportunities and synergies.
A pre-event press conference was held at the Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre on October 4th and attended by the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Ip Peng Kin, and Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. The Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF, Pansy Ho, presented an introduction of the Forum programme.
In his remarks, Ip Peng Kin expressed that the Forum has embarked upon a new journey with the acknowledgement of the Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang, who declared our Country's support to GTEF as one of the 19 national key initiatives to enhance the economy of the Macao SAR in 2016. He believes that this edition of GTEF, fueled by the collective wisdom of experts and scholars as well as the sharing of experience by industry professionals, will inspire the city to stride toward becoming a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure and achieving new progress in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development. In addition to the above, the Forum will bolster the city's commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative and usher in a new chapter for the global tourism economy.
Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ip Peng Kin addresses the press conference
While expressing her gratitude to the entire Macao community for their continuous support to GTEF, Pansy Ho highlighted tourism as a key to best capture the immense collaborative opportunities from our Country's Belt and Road Initiative. She remarked, 'Themed "Regional Collaboration towards a Better Future", GTEF 2017 supports the Belt and Road and the "16+1" economic framework, featuring the 16 Central and Eastern Europeans Countries (CEEC) as Partner Countries. The "16+1" cooperation is a natural extension of the Belt and Road. As the number of Chinese visitors in CEECs has increased manyfold in recent years, China and the CEECs created an official organization to facilitate growing tourism cooperation. The Forum will utilize its role as a platform to showcase CEECs' tourism resources and investment opportunities to domestic and international guests and delegates, and drive further cross-regional and cross-sector collaboration.'
GTEF is a leading international tourism platform designed to promote sustainable development of the global tourism industry with a focus on China. In this edition, the Forum supports our Country's Belt and Road Initiative and embraces the "16+1" economic framework under which China partners with the 16 diverse and culturally rich Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs), including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia as GTEF 2017's Featured Partner Countries. These countries along with Guizhou Province, which is the Forum's Featured Partner Province, will offer GTEF delegates eye-opening perspectives on the potential of the global tourism economy.
The two-day Forum programme encompasses a series of thought-provoking discussions and panel sessions, among which the Face to Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs session will kick off GTEF 2017 with the largest speaker lineup ever. In collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), this signature session will bring ministers and global private-sector CEOs to a direct dialogue under the topic "Embracing Regional Collaboration for Collective Growth", discussing how regional and trans-regional collaboration can create positive developments beyond geographic boundaries.
The Forum will present another series of distinctive panel sessions in its Day 2 programme. Besides panels titled "Promoting a Shared Vision through Regional Collaboration", "Driving Tourism Economic Growth through Innovation and Technology" and "The Greater Bay Area – Visionary Collaboration in the Making", there are three concurrent sessions and workshops themed as "Consumption Upgrade & Market Strategies", "World Heritage & Regional Cooperation" and "Building a Brighter Future for Cities through Collaboration", projecting a more comprehensive picture of future tourism landscape for delegates.
Pre-event press conference for Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2017
Besides, the fourth UNWTO/GTERC report of Asia Tourism Trends will be released during the Forum. A joint effort of UNWTO and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC), the report will present tourism trends and outlook of the region, showcase how technology is driving revolutionary changes in the tourism industry, and highlight the importance of regional collaboration as an integral element of the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations.
GTEF 2017 is hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism, and coordinated by GTERC in collaboration with UNWTO. Supporting units include China National Tourism Administration, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, the 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, Macao Government Tourism Office, World Travel and Tourism Council, Pacific Asia Travel Association, World Tourism Cities Federation and European Travel Commission.
Since its inception in 2012, GTEF had thus far hosted more than 7,000 participants from 63 countries and regions, including 54 delegations from different provinces and autonomous regions of Mainland China, and invited more than 300 distinguished speakers ranging from ministerial officials, internationally-renowned private-sector leaders, scholars and experts to share their insightful opinions. The wide and strong lineup had demonstrated the epitomic and international level of the Forum.
Photo caption: Pre-event press conference for Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2017