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.

On the occasion of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year, GTEF 2018 will present the European Union as the Featured Partner Region and showcase its immense collective tourism offerings. Under the theme of "Strategic Partnership in a New Era, Rising Momentum for a Shared Future," GTEF will use its pragmatic tourism exchange platform to drive discussions on strengthening EU-China commercial and cultural exchanges, and to provide opportunities to build EU-China cooperation and partnership through bilateral trade meetings, business matching, networking, workshops, exhibitions, etc.

In addition, GTEF 2018 will present the Guangdong Province as the Featured Chinese Province and highlight the mega metropolis of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, home to over 68 million people and a region with a total GDP of over US$1.39 trillion, in support of the Central Government's plan for the development of a city cluster in the Greater Bay Area to elevate regional development to economic growth efficiency in the hub as a whole, while giving full play to the distinctive strengths of the Guangdong Province (with its 9 cities), Hong Kong and Macao.

A multi-purpose platform, GTEF not only brings together international government and industry leaders, experts, scholars and related industry partners to engage in discussions and debates about opportunities and challenges in the global tourism economy; it also provides the perfect environment for stakeholders in the tourism and related industries to explore the real opportunities that underlie China’s international and regional integration policies, to network and to engage in business-matching and privately-scheduled meetings that are conducive to business leads and new partnerships.