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Bridging Industry Developments Between East and West

hotels-travel-index-456Macau (Macau SAR China) – August 4, 2014 – The third edition of Global Tourism Economy Forum (“GTEF” or “the Forum”) is scheduled to take place at the Venetian Macao from 27-29 October 2014 around the theme “Maritime Silk Road – From Macau We Begin”. A press conference was held at the Tourism Activities Centre in Macau today (14 July) to announce details of the Forum. Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, Cecília Cheung and Director of Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes both delivered a remark in the conference, followed by an introduction presented by Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF, Pansy Ho.

GTEF is a high-level tourism event hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Its third edition will feature the historically glorious “Maritime Silk Road” (“MSR”) as its theme, exploring strategic intercontinental cooperation in tourism and business opportunities across nations, provinces and cities along the MSR route, carrying on the same exploratory spirit of our predecessors who reshaped the economic landscape decades ago.

Effective international exchange platform inspires in-depth discussion
The Forum plays a significant role for a global tourism destination like Macau, with tourism being the pillar of the city’s economy. Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Cecília Cheung commented, “Macau has been closely following the Central Government’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan to establish the city as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure as well as a regional trade and business service platform.” She added, “The third edition of the Forum will be held in late October, a time also to welcome the 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macau SAR, making the event particularly meaningful. As Macau undertakes the mission to develop into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, it is essential to possess a global vision and knowledge of the current trends in the world. We expect the third edition of GTEF to gather tourism heavyweights and experts who can share insightful perspectives around this year’s theme while exploring new drives and elements which the Maritime Silk Road can become to enhance regional and global tourism development.”

MGTO Director Senna Fernandes addressed, “Macau is dedicated to building “one centre, one platform” as the strategic goal to promote adequate diversification of the city’s economic development. The GTEF is going to be held in Macau for the third year in a row. It serves as a great opportunity for Macau to function as a platform and forge ahead with the goal of becoming a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure through learning the latest tourism trends and gaining relevant experience from the international forum.”

Expressing her gratitude to the entire Macau community for its support, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF, Pansy Ho expects the Forum to ripple its value as a platform of idea exchange and as a springboard for the promotion of multilateral cooperation. She said, “The 3rd GTEF is designed to emphasize the unique role Macau plays in the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Today, we hope the same spirit can be rekindled, using tourism economy as the new driver for regional cooperation.” She added, “The valuable results of GTEF are highly recognized by many countries and mainland provinces, Kazakhstan, Mexico, JiangXi and Shandong are already actively working with the organizer on their featured participation. We have also expanded the exhibition element under popular demands.”

The first two editions of GTEF have achieved phenomenal success, earning a solid reputation as an effective platform that brings to Macau key decision-makers in the global tourism industry, as they exchange perspectives with their Chinese counterparts, explore business ideas and generate solutions to far-reaching issues. Last year, the second edition of GTEF attracted over 1,100 representatives from 29 countries and regions as well as delegations from 10 provinces and cities of Mainland China.

Recognizing the unique values of GTEF and its growing momentum, many international organizations are building closer partnerships with GTEF. During the Forum in 2014, UNWTO and the coordinator of GTEF, Global Tourism Economy Research Centre will be publishing the first report of their joint research projects on the issues discussed in the past two editions of GTEF and on the subject of tourism industry development in cities along the MSR. In addition, the Forum has partnered with Pacific Asia Travel Association Foundation to host its closing dinner as a charity fundraising event for the sustainable development of regional tourism projects.

Distinctive Panel Setting Drives Flourishing Ideas
This edition of GTEF is designed with a delicate mix of various activities. The Face to Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs session is set to be the Forum’s centre of attention, putting global leaders from the private sector into real-time discussion with tourism ministers of European and Asian countries on current and future development of tourism and related industries under the topic of “Driving synergy to deepen cooperation on the 21st century Maritime Silk Road”. It is coupled with a comprehensive introduction of MSR under the topic of “21st Century Maritime Silk Road in Motion” in the [Passage from the Past to the Present – The New Silk Road] session, and the kick-off of the forward-thinking [Shaping the Present for the Future] session which discusses the topic about MSR countries thriving on the 21st century backdrop. The fascinating panels are enriched with Presentation by Featured Country, Interview with Travel and Tourism Leaders, GTEF 2015 Partner Country Presentation and networking luncheon. The new addition of Pavilion Exhibition also brings fascinating dimensions to the Forum; comprising a variety of exhibitions, presentations and performances, the pavilion will be opened to the public on 29 October 2014, expected to create more networking opportunities for participating countries and regions with different sectors in Macau.

About the organizational structure of Global Tourism Economy Forum
Co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism under the authorization of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, the first three editions of GTEF are hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government. The Forum also earns continued support from its supporting units including Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macau SAR, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macau SAR, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO). Vice Chairman of The National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Ho Hau Wah is the Forum Chairman of GTEF, while Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, Cheong U is the Executive Chairman of GTEF.

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