A total of 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) will participate in Macau’s two-day 2017 Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) later this month, the co-organisers announced in a press conference at Macau Tower Wednesday.
The press conference also revealed that the forum’s budget is 46 million patacas, of which about half will be borne by the government, said Ip Peng Kin, chief-of-cabinet of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture, which hosts the annual event in conjunction with various local, national and international organisations such as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO),China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO).
The forum has been held in Macau annually since 2012.
The 6th GTEF will take place on October 16-17 at Macau Tower and Grand Hyatt Macau in Cotai.
The event is themed “Regional Collaboration towards a Better Future.”
Ip said the forum’s total budget was 46 million patacas, two percent more than last year. He said while the Macau Government Tourism Office would pay 24.2 million patacas – a 10 percent increase compared to last year, the remainder would be borne by organisations and companies from the local tourism sector.
Premier Li Keqiang announced during his three-day visit to Macau a year ago that the central government would support Macau in the organisation of the Global Tourism Economy Forum every year – one of the 19 measures the central government pledged in support of Macau’s economic development, Ip pointed out, adding that “the forum has embarked upon a new journey since then.”
Ip said he believed that the forum this year will inspire Macau to stride towards becoming a world tourism and leisure centre and achieve further progress in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) project.
Ip said that the forum would also bolster the city’s commitment to the nation’s Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative and usher in a new chapter for the global tourism economy.
GTEF Secretary-General and Vice Chairwoman Pansy Ho Chiu King told the press conference that this year’s forum would also support the B&R Initiative as well as the “16+1 Cooperation Initiative” – cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). The initiative was set up in 2012.
Ho, group executive chairperson of Shun Tak Holdings and co-chairperson of MGM China Holdings, also said that the “16+1” mechanism was a “natural extension” of the B&R Initiative.
The 16 Central and Eastern European nations will be the “featured partner countries” of the forum this year, an MGTO statement said. The 16 countries, along with Guizhou province, the GTEF 2017’s “featured partner province”, will offer the forum’s delegates “eye-opening” perspectives on the potentials of the global tourism economy, the statement said.
According to the statement, the 16 CEECs comprise Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.