The successful launch of The Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao this week – the first-ever mega tourism forum held in China – has achieved remarkable success in connecting the Chinese tourism industry with the rest of the world, and it is expected to become a long-term mega program in the future, said a tourism industry leader who also promoted the event’s launch.
The forum’s significance is profound in a sense that it is on course with China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, which aims to develop tourism into a strategic pillar industry of the nation’s economy over the period from 2011 until 2015.
At the same time, Macao’s leisure and tourism development has also been outlined in the government report, meaning the whole nation’s tourism industry, including Macao is very important, said Wong Man-kong, deputy to the 11th National People’s Congress and vice-chairman of the Global Tourism Economy Forum, who also has helped to facilitate the forum’s launch in Macao.
Although there are several major tourism events in the industry globally, most of them are held in the West, including London, Berlin, and Chicago. This is the first time that a Chinese city has hosted such a mega international tourism-related forum of such a magnitude and influence in the world, Wong said.
Wong noted that international organizations including the United Nations, World Tourism Organization, and world and regional tourism councils as well as Chinese government had been keen to support the event’s launch to build up a communicative platform to connect China and the rest of the world.
The Macao government, in particular, has also been working actively to promote the event’s launch, in a bid to showcase the city’s determination in becoming a center of tourism and leisure of the world.
Macao, the city hosting the event has achieved remarkable business success from the buoyant gaming sector till today, and it is believed that the city will further benefit from national favorable policies including the establishment of Hengqin special economic zone, Wong said, adding that Macao will also explore more niches to develop and to broaden its spectrum of the tourism industry other than its pillar gaming industry.
“Chinese tourists are keen to go outside the country, while the rest of the world is eager to come into the mainland market,” Wong said. With hundreds of leading experts from all over the world within the industry to explore the future of tourism development during the three-day event, the forum has delivered great positive impact to the whole sector in both China and the outside world.
Wong said the tourism industry in China is expecting the forum which was successfully launched to become a long-term program, as well as to kick off the missions of organizers who are keen to help Chinese small and medium-sized tourism operators.
As a forum of this kind will also allow the rest of the world to engage with travel and tourism industries’ operators in China, particularly, small and medium-sized ones will also benefit from the ongoing developments in the sector with global tourism players, Wong added.