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Chairman Zhang Xu of WTA Engages in Global Tourism Economy Forum 2023 Activities


MACAO, September 21st, 2023 – The “10th Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2023” event was inaugurated at the Galaxy International Convention Center in Macao, SAR. Themed “Destination 2030: Unlocking the Power of Tourism for Business and Development”, the event saw the participation of luminaries such as HO Hau Wah, Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; HO Iat Seng, Chief Executive of Macao Special Administrative Region; HU Heping, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China; ZHENG Xincong, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region; Zurab POLOLIKASHVILI, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Daniela Garnero SANTANCHÈ, Minister of Tourism of Italy; LIU Xianfa, Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao Special Administrative Region; LEI Wai Nong, Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Government; and Pansy Ho, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of Global Tourism Economy Forum. Chairman of the World Tourism Alliance (WTA), ZHANG Xu, attended the opening ceremony as a key guest. WTA served as a key supporter of this forum.

At the forum’s 10th-anniversary luncheon, ZHANG delivered a speech highlighting the forum’s decade-long role in utilizing Macao’s geographical advantage to connect China with the world. It has been a significant platform where leaders, experts, scholars, and professionals convene to discuss pivotal tourism issues, share experiences, and promote sustainable development in the industry. “WTA is keen to continue collaborating with the Global Tourism Economy Forum to propel a swift recovery of the global tourism industry”, ZHANG added.

ZHANG, as the Chief guest, also attended the inauguration of the 2nd Global Tourism Economy Forum • Investment and Financing on September 20th, as well as the “Shanghai Night Culture and Tourism Promotion” event on the evening of September 21st under the banner of “Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2023”.

During his visit, ZHANG met various stakeholders and sent out invitations for the “World Tourism Alliance • Xianghu Dialogue 2023”.

In a morning meeting on September 20th, ZHANG met with Maria Helena DE SENNA FERNANDES, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO). Both parties exchanged views on the future development of Macao’s culture and tourism industries, agreeing to strengthen cooperation in the future. They jointly expressed commitment towards propelling Macao as a “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure”, fostering greater tourism industry exchanges and collaborations between the Mainland, Macao, and the international community, and driving the global tourism sector’s rejuvenation.

On the morning of September 21st, ZHANG met with Rosa Ana Morillo, Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spain. ZHANG highlighted Spain’s enduring appeal among Chinese tourists, stating that Spain remains one of the most favored destinations for Chinese travelers. Notably, the first half of 2023 saw an astounding 420% surge in Chinese visitors to Spain and a 592% rise in tourism expenditure. He emphasized China’s open arms to Spanish visitors and expressed optimism about intensified bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the future. Furthermore, he officially invited Rosa to attend the “2023 WTA • Xianghu Dialogue” set to be held in Hangzhou from November 14th to 16th. Rosa stated Spain’s recognition of China’s pivotal role in the global tourism industry. She noted the vast potential in furthering Chinese-Spanish tourism collaborations and believed that mutual tourism would see a swift resurgence as aviation capacities between the two nations progressively recover. Rosa graciously accepted ZHANG’s invitation, confirming her attendance for the upcoming dialogue.

Later in the day, ZHANG visited the Nam Kwong Group, a member of the WTA, engaging in discussions with the Group’s Chairman, FU Jianguo. Expressing gratitude for the Nam Kwong Group’s sustained support to the WTA’s endeavors, ZHANG provided an overview of the Alliance’s current trajectory and future plans. He highlighted, “The pandemic over the past three years has inevitably interrupted interactions with some of our members. Currently, the Alliance is actively looking to rejuvenate regular communications with all members and is committed to creating expansive collaboration platforms to aid their growth”. Fu Jianguo detailed the Nam Kwong Group’s development journey and its business endeavors in Macao. He reiterated the Group’s dedication, as a founding member of the WTA, to actively participate in WTA’s initiatives, collectively promoting Macao as the “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure” and promoting high-quality development in the Greater Bay Area’s cultural and tourism sectors.

LIU Shijun, Vice Chair & Secretary-General of the World Tourism Alliance, was present at these activities.