Dynamics of Cultural Tourism at Global Tourism Economy Forum

Macau (Macau SAR China) - October 12, 2015 (travelindex) - Hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, the Global Tourism Economy Forum 2015 opened with a ceremony at the Venetian Macao. The event is initiated and co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism under the authorization of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) and in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Unveiling its fourth edition today, the Global Tourism Economy Forum (“GTEF” or “the Forum”) meets under the theme “Belt and Road Initiative: Unleashing the New Dynamics of Cultural Tourism”, with the aim to embrace the magnificent vision of the Belt and Road Initiative, foster cultural tourism, actively explore development opportunities as well as enhance regional and international cooperation in all directions.

The opening ceremony was officiated by prestigious guests including Mr. Chui Sai On, Chief Executive of Macao Special Administrative Region; Mr. Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia; Mr. Ho Hau Wah, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Forum Chairman of GTEF; Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of World Tourism Organization and Honorary Chairman of GTEF; Mr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Office of the Council of Ministers, the Kingdom of Cambodia; Mr. Li Jinzao, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Honorary Chairman of GTEF; Mr. Zang Xianfu, Chairman of Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; Mr. Wang Huizhong, Deputy Secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China; Ms. Sandra Howard Taylor, Vice Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Colombia; Mr. Chen Yixing, Vice Chairman of Fujian Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; Mr. Yao Jian, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; Mr. Cai Siping, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR; Dr. Alexis Tam, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government and Executive Chairman of GTEF; Mr. Wang Shangkang, Director of Department of Publicity and Education, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce; Mr. Alejandro Schiavi, Undersecretary of Coordination, Ministry of Tourism, Argentina; Ms. Pansy Ho, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF; Mr. Xu Jing, Executive Secretary of the General Assembly and the Executive Council of UNWTO, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at UNWTO as well as Honorary Vice Chairman of GTEF; Mr. David Scowsill, President and Chief Executive Officer of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Honorary Chairman of GTEF; Mr. Kevin Murphy, Chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Honorary Vice Chairman of GTEF, among others.

Mr. Li Jinzao, chairman of China National Tourism Administration illustrated the importance of tourism for world economic development and the current situation of China’s tourism, and emphasized that China’s tourism would act as an engine for the steady development of world economy. He pointed out that, China’s tourism was in a new stage of adjustment, reform and leap-forward, and in this new “golden age”, it would maintain a rapid growth. During National Day holiday, revenue from travel, food and accommodation services exceeded RMB 1 trillion, showing skyrocketing, tiding and accelerating feature of tourism development.

Under the Forum theme of “Belt and Road Initiative: Unleashing the New Dynamics of Cultural Tourism”, Li Jinzao made three suggestions to enhance the tourism cooperation under the “Belt and Road Initiative” framework for mutual benefit and win-win: building practical and efficient cooperation mechanism to shape a better future; promoting multi-tiered interconnectivity to facilitate the market; and boosting key project cooperation to support the enterprises. These suggestions resonated with the attendees.

Li Jinzao said that each of the coming three years would witness world top-level tourism conferences held in China. In May 2016, the first World Tourism Development Conference co-hosted by the Chinese government and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be held in Beijing; in 2017, The 22nd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly will be held in Chengdu; in 2018, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) annual Global Summit will be held in Shanghai . He invited the guests and colleagues from global tourism industry to attend these conferences, so as to share good practices, contribute to world socio-economic development and maintain world peace. CNTA will continue to develop “Belt and Road" tourism, and are ready to share the opportunities of China tourism with all countries and regions. It will also continue to support Macao in its development as a global tourism and leisure center and its moderately diversified economic development, and further the tourism cooperation among the mainland, Hongkong and Macao.

Ho Hau Wah, vice chairman of the CPPCC and the chairman of the Forum and Chui Sai On, chief executive of Macao SAR attended the Forum and delivered welcoming address. Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia attended the Forum and delivered congratulating address. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO attended the Forum and delivered keynote speech.

Ho Hau Wah said that, the Belt and Road Initiative included Macao into the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macao Greater Bay Area of the South China economic and transportation hub, and thus bring about upgrading and transformation in regional cooperation. Taking this new opportunity, this Forum took advantage of its status of international tourism city and a bridge linking eastern and western culture, gathered political and business leaders from global tourism-related industries, and launched high-level dialogue, so as to make suggestions and explore new opportunities for Belt and Road Initiative and global common prosperity.

Chui Sai On said that, as global tourism was facing significant opportunities and ongoing challenges, it should make good use of these opportunities to shape a better future. He believed that this Forum could explore new ideas for boosting regional cooperation, guide the sustainable development of Macao and global tourism economy, and make practical suggestions. He hoped that Macao could make full use of its institutional advantages brought by “one country, two systems”, and take these opportunities to build communication platform and participate in cross-region diversified tourism cooperation.

Hun Sen said that, in recent years, with China-Cambodia relations going further, China’s investment in Cambodia witnessed continuous growth, and more and more Chinese tourists chose Cambodia as their destination. He believed that China would play a vital role in boosting regional and global development.

Taleb Rifai emphasized that, Belt and Road Initiative had not only brought about large opportunities for regional cooperation to improve the living standard of the people in the region, but also extended these opportunities to the Pacific Alliance countries in Latin America. The new engine unleashed by Belt and Road Initiative will bring more opportunities, and thus make cultural tourism a pillar of socio-economic development.

During the Forum, Li Jinzao also attended the opening ceremony of "Picturesque Zhejiang” Tourism and Culture Theme Exhibition held by Zhejiang Province, the guest of honor of this Forum. Du Jiang, vice chairman of CNTA attended the opening ceremony of the Forum, the opening ceremony of the Exhibition and the tourism promotion event of Zhejiang Province.

Zang Xianfu, chairman of Tianjin Municipal Political Consultative Conference, Wang Huizhong, secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee, Chen Yixing, vice chairman of Fujian Provincial Political Consultative Conference, David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC and Kevin Murphy, chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) attended the Forum and delivered congratulating address. Yao Jian, vice director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR, Cai Siping, Commissioner from Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Macao SAR and other guests attended the Forum.

About 1,000 delegates attended the Forum, including heads of the tourism department of the governments of many countries and regions such as Cambodia, Columbia, Argentina, etc., delegates from large tourism enterprises, delegates from international trade associations such as UNWTO, WTTC, PATA, etc. The largest delegation was from mainland tourism, with more than 300 delegates.As the cooperative city, Tianjin held promotion event and exhibition.(Department of Affairs on Tourism of Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan).

About the Global Tourism Economy Forum
The Global Tourism Economy Forum was first inaugurated in year 2012 by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre. Initiated by the China Chamber of Tourism and hosted by the Macau SAR Government, the event is an interactive discussion platform to drive a new chapter in tourism industries across the world with a China focus.

The Forum is blessed to have received immense support from leading tourism organizations, including World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), China National Tourism Administration (CN TA), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Over the past three editions, it has attracted over 3,000 participants from 45 countries and regions, and welcomed 49 provincial and municipal delegations from China, making it a truly East-West meeting ground. It has also hosted 130 world renowned speakers including government ministers, business leaders and scholars, who have brought in-depth insights as catalysts to research and real changes. One of the most regarded aspects of GTEF is its emphasis on sparking genuine partnerships that have the power to shape the industry towards sustainable growth on a global scale. To this end, a wealth of networking opportunities are extended off the stage, including Exhibitions, Business-Matching Arrangements, Special Luncheons and Dinners, as well as Featured Presentations.

Countries and China provinces that have previously partnered with GTEF include: Portugal, Spain and Kazakhstan, Gansu, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Fujian, Shandong and Guangxi. The Forum is delighted to have the Pacific Alliance countries joining as Featured Partner Countries in 2015.

Contact information:
Global Tourism Economy Research Centre
398 Alameda Dr. Carlos D’Assumpção
Edificio CNAC, 11 andar, NAPE, Macau
Tel: +853 8296 3600 | Fax: +853 8296 3611
Email: info@GTERC.org
Web: www.gte-forum.com

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