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18 Jun, 2015

Global Tourism Economy Forum: Macau 2015 charts new dynamics of cultural tourism

June 17, 2015, Macao – The Global Tourism Economy Forum (“GTEF” or “the Forum”), scheduled to take place at the Venetian Macao from 12 to 14 October, 2015, will unveil an innovative world class dialogue on cultural tourism with the theme of “One Belt One Road – Unleashing New Dynamics of Cultural Tourism”.

A pre-event press conference was held at the Tourism Activities Centre in Macao on 17 June. Remarks were made by the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Lai Ieng Kit and Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes while the Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of Global Tourism Economy Forum Pansy Ho introduced details about this year’s program.

To further promote global tourism economy and the development of Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, the GTEF will continue to be held in Macao for the coming three editions, starting this year.

GTEF is a high-level tourism event hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This year’s edition will continue to build upon the premise of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road (MSR), strengthening the tourism development of regions and countries along the MSR. The Forum is delighted to have the members of the Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia), joining as the Featured Partner Countries, and the Zhejiang province, one of the most important provinces on the MSR, joining as the Featured Province.

Cooperation between tourism and culture has become the focus point of worldwide tourism industry. This year’s GTEF will use “One Belt One Road – Unleashing New Dynamics of Cultural Tourism” as the forum’s theme and actively promote the building of “One Belt One Road”.

Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Lai Ieng Kit stated, “The Macao SAR Government attaches great importance on the development strategy of “One Belt One Road” initiated by the Central Government. We will fully assist and support, and will make good use of Macao’s focal effects on the MSR, utilize this important development opportunity to boost the synergy effects from culture and tourism”. He hoped this forum can bring together forces from different places, promote regional sustainable partnerships and together carry forward regional and international tourism development.

MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said in her speech that “GTEF has important meaning for Macao. By organizing the Forum, Macao can gain more experiences in organizing large-scale meetings and exhibitions. At the same time, it can attract government and business leaders and experts from different regions and countries, thus boosting Macao’s reputation internationally.”

As a prelude to GTEF 2015, Pansy Ho, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTE, led a prominent delegation under the banner of GTEF to visit the Pacific Alliance countries in early June. 30 influential entrepreneurs from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, who are engaged in a broad spectrum of tourism-related industries including property developments, destination management, hospitality, retail and investment, met with Ministers of Tourism and Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Pacific Alliance countries and attended business networking events, gaining insights into the region’s investment landscape, tourism resources and market potentials, while sharing their experiences in catering to the evolving trends and consumption patterns of the Chinese tourists.

Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF Pansy Ho expressed her gratitude for the continuous support of the entire Macao community. In particular, she underscored the important impact of the Forum, “GTEF started the Chinese entrepreneurs’ business mission in 2013, aiming at extending its benefit beyond the Forum period.

Today, the business mission has become a crucial element that continues to inspire exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries. Greeted by Ministers of Tourism and Foreign Affairs with the warmest hospitality in our 12-day Pacific Alliance visit, we were able to experience first- hand how the tourism sector can elevate cooperation and capitalize on the opportunity created by the new China-Latin America relationship.”

This year, the critically important Face to Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs session will once again lead the Forum discussions. Invited tourism ministers include ministers from Cambodia, South Korea and Pacific Alliance countries. Together with the global private-sector CEOs, these ministers will examine the forerunner role tourism plays in the monumental cross-regional cooperation initiative of “One Road and One Belt.”

In addition, industry leaders will share their insights in special sessions such as “Understanding Chinese Consumers Behaviour,” “Exploring the Full Dimension of Cultural Tourism – Cultural Heritage and Creative Living Culture” and ”Driving Cultural Awareness through Social Media.” GTEF is honored to have BOA Merrill Lynch, China Daily, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Connecting Travel as sponsors or collaborative partners for these sessions.

UNWTO and GTERC will present their second Joint Annual Report on Asia Tourism Trends, which will once again provide an in-depth analysis of the latest development in Asia, enabling decision makers to keep their fingers on the pulse of the market.

GTEF has established itself as an influential high-level cooperation platform to promote a new round of development in the global tourism industry with a focus on China. To date, GTEF has attracted over 3,000 participants from 45 countries and regions, welcomed 49 provincial and municipal delegations from Mainland China, and presented 130 world renowned speakers including government ministers, business leaders and scholars on its stage.