Macao, Macao SAR, December 14, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Tourism Economy Forum · Macao 2020, “GTEF” or the “Forum”, was held smoothly on 9th December, bringing together around 50 Mainland, local and international government and industry leaders as well as heads of international tourism organizations to explore new strategies and momentum for restoring travelers’ confidence and reinventing the tourism industry under the theme of “Solidarity and Innovation: Reshaping Tourism in the New Global Economy”. The Forum led a confluence of online and offline engagement for the first time, leveraging innovative technology to unite tourism elites around the world for an exchange of insightful perspectives. The Forum engaged 420,000 views from over 50 regions during live stream on that day.
The Forum presented an innovative and inspiring program including special sessions, industry leadership interview series, report presentation and so forth, letting brilliant minds converge to shape a brighter future with shared progress.
Industry leaders share insights in Global Leadership Special Feature
In the session of “Global Leadership Special Feature: Hospitality, Aviation, Technology, and the Way Forward for Tourism”, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Trip. Com Group Ltd., James Liang, shared about “Forecasts for Tourism Trends in a Post-Pandemic World”; Chairman of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Ltd., Christopher Nassetta, presented “Paving Way towards a More Resilient Sector through the Rebuilding of Consumer Confidence & Safety”; Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths, presented “Air Travel in the ‘New Normal’: Boosting International Coordination and Harmonization of Protocols”; Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and Chairman of Tencent Music Entertainment, Dowson Tong, shared about “Leveraging Digital Technology to Enhance the Travel Experience”; Chairman of Fosun International, Guo Guangchang, shared about “More Active, More Positive: Innovation and Opportunities for Tourism Industry Under the ‘New Normal’”; Honorary Chairman of GTEF and Vice Chairman of Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, Michael Frenzel, shared about “Championing Global Cooperation and Entrepreneurship to Stimulate Market Vitality”.
UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) presented their joint report of UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends – 2020 Edition. Delivered by UNWTO Executive Director Zhu Shanzhong, the publication not only analyzes the latest tourism trends and outlook in Asia-Pacific but also unveils how countries in Asia have adopted various measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and stimulate economic recovery, including a special case study on Macao. The report also highlights the significance of tourism and community development and points to the potential of rural tourism.
The report points out that the COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented impact upon the tourism industry around the world in 2020, bringing both domestic and international travel to a standstill from March onwards. In the first half of 2020, international tourist arrivals plunged 65% while international arrivals in Asia and the Pacific dropped by 72%. Europe recorded a decline of 66%, followed by the Americas (-55%) as well as Africa and the Middle East (both -57%).
PATA & GTEF Partnership Session
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and GTEF teamed up to explore the “Best Practices under the ‘New Normal’ through Consumer Sentiment Analysis” and share prominent cases that drove the recovery of the global tourism economy from across the Asia-Pacific region. During this session, PATA introduced the best practices collected by its established Crisis Resource Centre (CRC) from the private sector and Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), showcasing optimal crisis communication plans and strategies to support small and medium-sized enterprises, tour operators, and hospitality businesses to achieve sustainable business renewal. Moderated by Former Chief Operating Officer of PATA, Trevor Weltman, the session led an insightful discussion joined by Founder and Chief Executive Officer of TCI Research, Olivier Henry-Biabaud, and Chief Executive Officer of Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting, Wang Xinjun.
Leadership Special Interviews
This year, GTEF invited renowned entrepreneurs in the industry to share their perspectives in a series of interviews conducted by star anchors. In the “Greater Bay Area Leadership Special Interview Series”, Producer and Host of Phoenix TV and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Carol Yu; Senior Host at China Global Television Network (CGTN), Liu Xin; and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of UNWTO and Founder & President of ANITA MENDIRATTA & ASSOCIATES, Anita Mendiratta, conducted a range of interviews respectively with leaders of six major integrated resorts in Macao, who shared about their endeavors to foster Macao’s development into a world centre of tourism and leisure as well as the adjustments made to their business operations to alleviate the impact of the pandemic. In the “Asia Leadership Special Interview Series”, decision makers of renowned enterprises in Asia were interviewed about “Sustainability, Heritage Preservation, and Rebuilding Tourism under the New Normal”, “Growth and Customer Experience Strategies to Meet the New Consumer Demand” and “China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable Feature”.
Special Session: Solidarity to Reshape the Tourism Economy
Moderated by Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF, Pansy Ho, the “Special Session: Solidarity to Reshape the Tourism Economy” featured a discussion joined by leaders of international tourism organizations and the industry, exploring in depth how the global tourism industry and trade have risen to the latest challenges while shedding light on the opportunities available as the tourism industry restarts and reinvents. With an eye to the dynamic megatrends that are shaping the future of tourism, the speakers also shared their insights, predictions and advices as the global tourism economy heads into “the next normal.” The speakers include Secretary-General of International Mountain Tourism Alliance (IMTA), He Yafei; Secretary-General of World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), Chen Dong; Secretary-General of World Tourism Alliance (WTA), Liu Shijun; Executive Director of European Travel Commission and Honorary Vice Chairman of GTEF, Eduardo Santander; Chief Executive Officer of PATA, Mario Hardy; and Chairman of China Chamber of Tourism (CCT), Ji Xiaodong.
Organize the Forum and business matching via technology and innovative platform
The Forum gathered delegates from worldwide in the innovative online format through collaboration once again with Tencent Cloud, the cloud business under Tencent, to further extend the influence of GTEF and demonstrate Macao’s comprehensive capacity to organize international conventions. GTEF’s annual highlight, the Business Matching Session, will be held online on 10 and 11 December. Hosted by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), the session debuts its one-stop online business matching platform that enables business introduction, matchmaking, appointment making and meeting online, allowing Macao enterprises to “go global”. This year, the business matching session has lined up over 280 tourism enterprises from across the globe for over 2,000 business appointments as estimated.
9th GTEF smoothly held
In her thank you remarks, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of GTEF, Pansy Ho, expressed, “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who participated in the Global Tourism Economy Forum both onsite in Macao and virtually online, which reached more than 50 regions around the world and with more than 420,000 views. Despite facing many challenges, we rose to the occasion, just like our theme this year, in solidarity and with innovation, to overcome the obstacles. We were able to break the boundaries of time and geography through the use of technology to truly connect globally. I am extremely grateful for the Chief Executive, Mr. Ho Iat Seng and GTEF Chairman, Mr. Ho Hau Wah for entrusting me to host this year’s GTEF under such unprecedented circumstances. I am deeply thankful to all guests of honor, speakers, and hosts who joined us from all different time zones, many of whom in the early hours of the morning. Lastly, I deeply believe all of you would agree with me that we want to travel again! Hence, I sincerely invite all of you to join me in Macao next year for our very special 10th anniversary edition of the Global Tourism Economy Forum 2021 with our Partner Country Italy, and Featured Chinese City, Shanghai.”
GTEF 2021 presents Italy as Partner Country and Shanghai as Featured Chinese City
The Forum announced that Italy and Shanghai will be featured as Partner Country and Featured Chinese City respectively in the 10th GTEF in 2021. Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism of Italy, Lorenza Bonaccorsi, and Mayor of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, Gong Zheng, each delivered a presentation about their respective country and city.
About Global Tourism Economy Forum
The Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) is hosted by the Secretariat for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Government, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism (TCC) under the authorization of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC). GTEF’s supporting units include the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), European Travel Commission (ETC), and the Macau Chinese Enterprise Association (MCEA).
Since its inception in 2012, GTEF has successfully established itself as an influential high-level cooperation platform to promote sustainable development in the global tourism industry with a focus on China. To date, GTEF had received more than 12,700 participants from 90 countries and regions, including delegations from 152 provinces and cities of Mainland China; and 600 internationally renowned speakers who are leaders in public, private, and academic fields. GTEF has continuously received consistent and wide amount of coverage from international press and media, valued up to USD $62 million.