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Tue, 13 October 2015

Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) 2015 Opens in Macau

[HD video below] The Global Tourism Economy Forum Macau 2015, hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government, held its opening ceremony at the Venetian Macau on Monday morning.

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 UNWTO.

Unveiling its fourth edition today, the Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) is meeting 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.

GTEF 2015 boasts a strong lineup of close to 60 distinguished speakers including ministerial officials, leaders of globally-renowned corporations, experts and scholars this year.

Over 1,000 delegates have arrived from different countries and cities worldwide to join the event. There are delegations from Featured Partner Countries Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, Featured Partner Province Zhejiang and Partner City Tianjin. Some 200 representatives of international, mainland and domestic media agencies are also covering the event.

Mr. Ho Hau Wah, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Forum Chairman of GTEF, addressed GTEF 2015, The Belt & Road Initiative marks a process of constant development, transformation, adjustment and enrichment. Its scope of cooperation has extended from countries along the ancient Maritime Silk Road to the newly-emerging Latin America. As China and Latin America enter a new epoch in their cooperative relations, bilateral people-to-people exchanges will surge, which will create more opportunities for economic development. In active response to this new trend for regional cooperation, the Forum has invited the four member states of the Pacific Alliance Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru to be our partner countries. Through the Forum as a platform for international exchanges and cooperation, we aim at fostering a broader scale of non-governmental collaboration for tourism growth across China and Latin America. Not only that, we hope the Forum can promote the combined effect of both the ancient and modern Maritime Silk Road as well as the Silk Road Economic Belt, which can be transformed into new joint forces for sustainable development of the global economy.

The opening ceremony was followed by an array of signing ceremonies which symbolize new tourism partnerships between GTEF, its collaborative partners and Featured China Province and City.

Among them is the Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNWTO and the Macau Special Administrative Region Government to establish a Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training in Macau. Deepening cooperation between both parties, this brand new entity not only will provide training and education programs, carry out joint tourism research projects but also will offer technical placement and internship opportunities. This will in turn substantially strengthen the citys overall human capital in tourism and remarkably enhance Macaus competitiveness as a travel destination.

Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO and Honorary Chairman of GTEF, said, The Belt and Road Initiative offers an immense opportunity to reinforce regional cooperation and foster better lives for all those living in this area but also beyond in other regions such as the Americas through the Alliance of the Pacific. In this context, unleashing the New Dynamics of Cultural Tourism along the Belt and Road Initiative offers many opportunities to promote cultural tourism as a pillar for socio-economic development.

The opening ceremony was concluded by the joint presentation of the second UNWTO/GTERC Annual Report 2015 on Asia Tourism Trends presented by UNWTO and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre. As a timely update on its findings in last years inaugural report, this report aims to produce a tool for policy-makers, private-sector stakeholders and academia to better understand tourisms development in Asia and the Pacific, to spark discussions and to open up new opportunities.

The report confirms the leading position held by the Asia-Pacific region as the source market of tourism and the second most visited region in the world, attracting 263 million international tourists in 2014, comprising 23% of the world total.

While China stands out as the number one tourism source market with record spending of 165 billion US dollars on international tourism in 2014, a 28% increase over the previous year, Latin American countries, especially members of the Pacific Alliance including Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, are also showing great potential for growth.

The report also offers analyses reflecting the dominance of China as an outbound market and inbound destination continued to feature in 2014 and 2015, sheds light on tourism trends and identifies key tourism agenda in the region, and highlights tourism between Asia and Latin America, and urban tourism. 

Pansy Ho Setting the Scene at GTEF 2015

See also: Air Macau - Interview with Chairman, Mr. Zheng Yan, Pansy Ho - Setting the Scene at GTEF 2015, Interview with Jean-Claude Baumgarten, and Hun Sen and Prime Minister of Cambodia, speaking at the GTEF 2015 Opening Ceremony. More to come.

The opening ceremony was officiated by prestigious guests including Mr. Chui Sai On, Chief Executive of Macau 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 Peoples 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 Peoples Political Consultative Conference; Mr. Yao Jian, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macau 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 Macau SAR; Dr. Alexis Tam, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau 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.

Travel News Asia is at GTEF 2015, so do check back as there is much more coverage to come, including HD video of some of the sessions and exclusive HD video interviews.

GTEF, Global Tourism Economy Forum, Macau

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