Since its inauguration in 2012, the GLOBAL TOURISM ECONOMY FORUM (GTEF) has become a much anticipated annual gathering for world leaders, tourism ministers, international CEOs and leading industry experts. As the first forum to discuss the global tourism economy in the context of China’s far-reaching Belt and Road Initiative, GTEF pioneers topics at the top of the public-private agenda, focusing on creating opportunities for tourism promotion, investment and cooperation.
GTEF garnered a major acknowledgement of its relevance and impact in 2016 when Premier Li Keqiang cited GTEF as one of the 19 major economic initiatives and undertakings of the Macao SAR Government which the Central Government will support. As Macao moves towards becoming a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, the Forum has played a key supporting role in diversifying and creating sustainable development of its economy.
As an official partner of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, GTEF will present the European Union (“EU”) as the Official Partner Region in its 7th edition on 23-24 October, 2018 in Macao to promote EU’s immense collective tourism offerings to China, the fastest growing and number one source market in the world since 2014. Under the theme of “Strategic Partnership in a New Era, Rising Momentum for a Shared Future,” GTEF will continue to play its strategic role as a pragmatic exchange platform to create a year-round series of important campaigns and events from roadshows and trade visits, and a 2-day program of keynote and panel sessions, bilateral meetings, business matching, exhibitions, workshops and cultural activities, to drive high-level dialogues on increasing tourism flows between China and Europe, enhancing EU countries’ understanding of Chinese visitors when traveling in Europe, and strengthening cooperation between the Chinese and EU authorities in the field of tourism and its related economy.
In addition, GTEF 2018 will present Guangdong Province as the Featured Partner Chinese Province and highlight the megalopolis of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, home to 11 cities (9 in Guangdong Province), over 68 million people and a regional GDP of over US$1.39 trillion.Highlighting Guangdong in GTEF 2018 supports the Central Government’s plan to develop a city cluster in the Greater Bay Area to elevate regional development, drive economic growth efficiency in the entire hub, and give full play to the distinctive strengths to each of the 11 cities.
The world is changing at an astonishing pace. Asia, in particular, has been at the forefront of this transformation and intense growth. One of the characterizing phenomena of the period is a proliferation of tourists driving not only domestic travel, but also global movement of people. With the increased wealth from the East, the travel industry is quickly adjusting and adapting to the new market dynamics, not only to attract visitors to destinations overseas, but also harness investment opportunities from within source markets, such as China.
With its unbeatable location at the gateway to China as well as its leadership position in Asia’s booming tourism economy, Macao is a natural choice for hosting the first Global Tourism Economy Forum.
Over the past decade, Macao has grown at a miraculous pace, with the tourism industry powering this transformation. Comprising a population of over 640,000, Macao has welcomed 30 million visitors, spending over USD 6.78 billion in the year 2016.
One major reason for Macao’s success is its unique status as China’s only destination for legalised gaming. Fuelled by China’s flourishing wealth and liberalisation, Macao overtook Las Vegas in terms of total gaming revenue in 2006 to become the largest gaming economy in the world.
With the foundations of Macao’s tourism industry firmly in place, the Government of Macao SAR in 2011 launched a directive to add further impetus to the growth of the city’s travel and leisure sectors, including subsidies to local tourism-related businesses. Macao seeks to fully harness its competitive advantages to optimise and internationalise its tourism economy. Cooperation among organisations and regions is vital to improving and expanding the tourism industry across Asia for the benefit of all.
For international stakeholders keen to establish a presence in this part of the world, the Forum is a comprehensive window into the large China market. Delegates will also have the opportunity to gain recognition from government authorities and other global tourism trade leaders, facilitating the development of mutually rewarding relationships.