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First Global Tourism Economy Forum Connects the Chinese
Tourism Industry with the Rest of the World

1,000 Delegates from More than 20 Countries Discussed the Global
Interdependency of Tourism and Economic Growth

Macau, September 14, 2012
  – The successful launch of The Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao this week - the first-ever mega tourism forum held in China - achieved success in connecting the Chinese tourism industry with the rest of the world, and it is expected to become a long-term program in the future.

Featuring the strongest line-up of global tourism leaders ever, the Forum attracted over 1,000 delegates from more than 20 countries and cities from all over the world. Over the course of the three day event, more than 50 speakers, including government ministers, scholars and business leaders, held lively discussions covering: Mega Events & Festivals, Emerging New Markets, Media & Technology, Destination Planning and Lifestyle & Entertainment.

Ablet Abdurishit, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference stated, “The Global Tourism Economy Forum created ahigh and international exchange platform for industry experts and leaders to meet and share experiences, discussion topics and future vision and development. I believe this will certainly create new opportunities, which will bring great cooperation for tourism and other related industries.”

The goal of the Forum, “Growth Driving Growth” focused on the interdependency of tourism growth and economic growth. The common themes debated during the event included how to balance responsible growth, sustainability and the challenges of visa restrictions, technology and emerging markets’ ability to handle tourism demand with facilities and services required by a savvy and demanding consumer.

In opening the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao, Secretary General, Taleb Rifai of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said “We need to ensure that the tourism sector is supported by adequate national policies and that we work to reduce existing barriers to the expansion of the sector, such as complicated visa procedures, increased direct taxation or limited connectivity.”  Ri In opening the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao, Secretary General, Taleb Rifai of United Nations World Tourism Organizationfai elaborated on threechallenges to be faced by the industry namely convenience in travel, tax income and a higher degree of collaboration across industries.

As witnessed by the elite leaders from government and tourism industry, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Global Tourism Economic Research Centre, the Forum’s coordinating unit.    The Memorandum serves as a dedicationand commitment to make advanced and  better  use  of  the  Forum’s  discussions  to  the  actual  tourism economy.    Through  collaborations  and research, solutions and advanced thinking will be provided for guiding the sustainable development and economic diversification of the tourismindustry, subsequently leading to more employment opportunities.

Highlights from the Forum included: 
  • In 2011, international tourist arrivals reached 990 million. With an expected growth of 3% to 4% in 2012, this figure is forecast to reach one billion for the first time by December 2012. 
  • For on-line travel retailer Ctrip, the opportunity for outbound and inbound Asian travel is staggeringly large. Some 70 million Chinese will travel internationally this year, said Fan Min, executive director and CEO, and the UNWTO expects that 100 million Chinese will take an international trip by 2020.
  • Pansy Ho, secretary general of GTEF states that over the next decade Chinese will become the single largest group of tourists in the world.  
  • Ho also stated that In 1980, emerging economies accounted for about 30 percent of the tourism industry. By 2011, their share had grown to 47 percent
  • Zhou Li, publisher and editor of China Daily Asia Pacific, said, “The advent of the Internet and mobile technology has literally given a big shot in the arm to an industry that contributes $6 trillion to the global economy, 9 percent of global GDP and created 260 million jobs worldwide. 
  • Google’s John Liu, head of Greater China at Google noted that 85 percent of travelers do research online and they make an average of 55 online searches before booking a trip. Half of these travelers base their ultimate decision on the advice of people they know and trust.
  • Brendan Jacobson, Global Head of Sales at Google-owned Zagat Survey, confirmed that Zagat planned to post user-generated reviews of every tourist destination in the world via Google.
Huang Mengfu, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Chair of All-China Federation of Industry andCommerce (ACFIC) mentioned: “In the aftermath of the international financial crisis and the global economy confronted with many challenges, theeconomies of many nations underwent a quiet restructuring if not transformation. With the industrial structures quickly upgrading, various newindustries, notably the tourism industry, are developing at breakneck paces.

At the closing ceremony, Pansy Ho, Secretary-General of Global Tourism Economy Forum, remarked: “I am  very  glad  that  the  Forum  succinctly  covered  many  of  the  key  challenges  ahead.    Our distinguished speakers and moderators certainly gave us plenty of food for thought on designing and formulating our next generation of tourism trends.    By embracing different perspectives and new ideas, the industry and related stakeholders canformulate clear approaches for development, in turn promoting the sustainable development of the global tourism industry and boosting the globaleconomy at large.”

Please visit for more details about the Global Tourism Economy Forum.


Karen Gee-McAuley
Relevance PR
O: 818-541-7724
C: 323-428-1921

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Also See:
The Global Tourism Economy Forum - Macau 2012 to Debut September 9-11, 2012; High-Profile Speakers to Explore New Paths to Economic Growth / August 2012

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