Hong Kong - The Global Tourism Economy Forum, the leading international tourism platform designed to promote sustainable development of the global tourism industry with a focus on China.
In preparation of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, the European Parliament (EP) held a high-level conference on tourism in Brussels on September 27, inviting government and industry leaders from within the European Union and around the world to exchange views on "A European strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the tourism industry, a key driver for job creation." Speakers included Members of EP; regional ministers; mayors of different cities; directors of tourism boards; tourism experts such as Mr. Dai Bin, Chair of the China Tourism Academy; and private sector chairmen and presidents including Ms. Pansy Ho, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of GTEF, Ms. Desiree Bollier, Chair of Value Retail PLC, Mr. Xiaolu Zhu, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Investors Relations of Ctrip, and Mr. Armando Branchini, Vice-Chair of Fondazione Altagamma, to name a few .
Providing the backdrop for China's role in the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, Ms. Pansy Ho described the significance of China's Belt and Road Initiative in the context of tourism, "While countries and regions, large and small, are slowly and surely awakening to the power of tourism as a driver of economic transformation, social development and cultural advancement, China has already made tourism a strategic pillar of her national economic policy. China's tourism is at the same time a development strategy and public diplomacy. Tourism manifests the spirit of the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to drive peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. China also uses tourism to interconnect with the world, and share opportunities created by her economic growth with the international community."
Ms. Ho went on to explain why GTEF is a unique platform to promote Europe as the number one tourist destination in the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year. "A 2-way platform, GTEF is designed to build bridges and find common grounds between countries and regions, between the public and private sectors, and between people; to share and exchange information and experiences; to find investment and business matching opportunities; and to foster collaboration in the tourism industry." She continued, "GTEF has long recognized the critical importance of the EU-China relations, and has in fact been promoting Europe, featuring Portugal and Spain as Partner Countries in 2013, France in 2016, and the 16 Central and Eastern European Countries in October this year."
Ms. Ho concluded her speech by inviting everyone present at the conference to GTEF 2017, which is set to be held in Macao from October 16-17 under the theme of "Regional Collaboration towards a Better Future". GTEF 2017's Featured Partner Countries include Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia; and Featured Chinese Province Guizhou.
In support of IY 2017, GTEF 2017 will engage prominent leaders in the public and private sectors in a thought-provoking dialogue on regional collaboration and sustainable tourism development. GTEF will once again offer both rewarding programmes and unrivalled business networking and matching opportunities to delegates from China and around the world.