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10th Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2023 Overview

Hosted by the Secretariat of Economy and Finance of the Government of Macao Special Administrative Region (GSEF), and in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Global Tourism Economy Forum is a leading international exchange platform designed to promote the sustainable development of the global tourism sector. The GTEF is co-organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and the China Chamber of Tourism (CCT), and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC).

Since its inauguration in 2012, GTEF has been dedicated to the promotion of global tourism, the deliberation of the most current topics, and the timely update of cutting-edge trends in the industry, with a particular focus on China. Each year, GTEF is advancing its platform to explore innovative solutions, facilitate sustainable development, and develop new products and new markets to fuel investment. GTEF tailors its program and creates a setting where professionals in global tourism can share innovative and creative solutions, as the way forward for a more resilient, deep-rooted, global tourism economy.

The GTEF has focused on the most important topics for the sector gathering leaders from governments and businesses with the knowledge, expertise, and clout to make positive change for the wider global tourism economy. Embodying the spirit of openness, cooperation, and inquiry, the GTEF aims to establish itself as the “Davos for Tourism”. In the next decade, the GTEF will expand on this role, bringing even more stakeholders to the table to accelerate the sustainable development of the global tourism economy. Since the inception of the GTEF, the GTEF and the UNWTO have partnered to promote collaboration between governments and the private sector. In an important step taken in April 2023, both organizations reinforced their partnership to advance international cooperation, encourage cultural exchange, and drive economic growth.

This year will be a landmark event as GTEF marks its 10th Edition. The Forum will once again welcome global leaders from across the public and private sector, serving as an efficient cooperation platform for the development of global tourism, as it strengthens Macao as a World Center of Tourism and Leisure and furthers the region’s integration as a core member for the Greater Bay Area.


10th Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2023 Theme - "Destination 2030: Unlocking the Power of Tourism for Business and Development"

The world today is at an inflection point—crucial to boosting the world economy is the resurgence of the global travel and tourism sector. Regaining travel’s momentum is a major driving force for growth and jobs. Prior to the pandemic, China had the largest outbound travel market in the world, both in number of trips and total spend. The re-opening of China, both for inbound and outbound travel, after 1,000 days of travel restrictions has sent hope throughout the global tourism economy. By creating a bridge between China and the world, the GTEF provides unique insights into China’s critical role in the global tourism economy and its role in advancing the sustainability agenda.

As we approach the half-way point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — a call for action in 2015 by all countries to ensure the well-being of everyone on a healthy, thriving planet by 2030 — there is still significant action needed across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To reach Destination 2030, will require unlocking tourism’s power to benefit people, planet, and prosperity. Tourism is a key driver directly or indirectly across all 17 Goals — solidarity, ingenuity, and commitment across the sector are needed to deliver on tourism’s potential. GTEF 2023 is answering the call to action by bringing together global leaders across the public and private sector to share ambitious and forward-looking solutions to reach Destination 2030.

GTEF 2023 will explore the path toward high-quality development, which was first brought to the world stage in 2017 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. High-quality development is a new phase of development focused on increased levels of innovation, coordination, and sustainability. High-quality development is applicable across sectors – from health, wellness, technology, to culture and creativity – and has the potential to strengthen tourism’s partnerships across these sectors. As a multi-purpose international platform, the GTEF inspires “thinking beyond tourism”, to enhance tourism’s intersections with other sectors leading to increased investment, competitiveness, and cooperation.


As GTEF celebrates its first decade, GTEF 2023 examines how through international collaboration, high-quality development can unlock tourism’s potential and chart the way towards Destination 2030.



Macao’s position of "one center, one platform and one base," has contributed to its status as a world center of tourism and leisure, an economic and trade cooperation platform for China and Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as a nucleus for cultural exchange and cooperation. Macao bridges the cultures of the East and West, as it embraces innovation, while upholding local culture and heritage.

The trailblazing “1+4” Strategy, demonstrates the power in thinking beyond tourism. The “1+4” Strategy enriches Macao’s function as "One Centre" for integrated tourism and leisure, while facilitating the development of four nascent industries — including health and wellness, modern finance, hi-tech, MICE and culture and sports.

Through this year’s GTEF, Macao will showcase its culture, innovation, and its forward-thinking strategies for the future of tourism and economic development. The 10th Edition of the GTEF coincides with Macao’s new era of economic and social diversification. As Macao enters this new era, it serves as the ideal location for GTEF 2023 as the tourism sector increasingly seeks innovative strategies.


Partner Country Italy

Together with Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance and one of four biggest economies in Europe, GTEF will further strengthen the bilateral cooperation between China and the EU this year. As the epicenter of the Roman Empire, Italy is home to some of the world’s greatest art, architecture, and gastronomy. It is also home to some of the most well-known houses of style and fashion and is home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Its cities represent UNESCO Creative Cities of Design, Literature, Design, Film, Gastronomy, and Music. Italy welcomed 64 million tourists in 2019 and is the world’s fifth most visited country, tourism represents a significant part of the national economy. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of P.R. China has included GTEF in the Sino-Italian Cultural Exchange Mechanism, whose goal is to promote openness in culture and tourism, consolidate mutual learning between Chinese and foreign cultures.


Featured City Shanghai

Shanghai epitomizes the melding of dazzling innovation and modernization with history, tradition, and cultural heritage. Home to copious architectural styles, world-class cuisines, and contemporary art and creativity, Shanghai was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2010. The city has put in place important initiatives to promote design as an important driver of industry development and social sustainability. Located in the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, Shanghai is a center of global finance, and hosts large scale exhibitions such as the China International Import Expo, demonstrating the city’s commitment to strengthen cooperation, promote common prosperity of the world economy, while playing a vital role in the construction of “the Belt and Road Initiative.” Under the grand framework of Shanghai-Macao Cooperation Mechanism, GTEF will further consolidate the bilateral exchange and cooperation in culture and tourism and emphasize the importance of innovation-driven development. Positioning innovation as an engine for sustainable development, GTEF will look at how to leverage technological innovation to energize the culture and tourism industries, thereby molding a new trend in culture and tourism development.


The 2nd World Tourism Investment & Financing Conference


Theme (tentative): Opportunities and Challenges of Tourism Investment in the New Era – Embrace new business activities and grasp the trend of tourism development in the next decade

Enabling investment and securing financing within the tourism sector plays a pivotal role in fostering a trajectory of sustainable and high-quality growth. Investment in the sector not only generates opportunities for significant returns, but also offers socio-economic benefits. The 2nd World Tourism Investment & Financing Conference will examine key trends, emerging opportunities for tourism project development, and consider how market demand is shaping a new investment climate. Bringing together leaders from the public and private sector, it will present financing strategies and international policies for tourism investment in the post-pandemic era. The Conference will shine a light on China’s promotion of high-quality development of tourism and how it presents opportunities to unlock the growth potential of the tourism sector. China’s “tourism plus” policy together with new technologies has created new opportunities for investment in China’s tourism industry. By taking a close look at Macao, the Conference will explore how Macao has created an enabling environment for greater investment and has accelerated the development of modern finance. Modern finance and high technology are among the five crucial drivers of an economically diverse Macao, and with joint effort and concrete action, Macao is establishing a new international financial center in the digital age.