The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) convened its Asia Leaders Forum, hosted by the Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF), in Macau, SAR.
“We welcome Asia’s tourism leaders’ focus on connectivity, collaboration and commitment as they continue to develop the benefits of economic growth. China and Asia’s tourism sectors are bigger than their challenges,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara. The Forum saw 150 Travel & Tourism CEOs, government representatives and regional leaders assemble to discuss critical issues in Asia.
The event comes at a pivotal moment as WTTC’s Cities Report 2018, launched at the Forum, shows Macau to be the second fastest growing city in the world for Travel & Tourism. Across Asia, the sector contributes 9.8% to GDP and supports 9.3% of jobs (176.7m) – over half of all jobs in Travel & Tourism in the world. Further, 30% of WTTC’s membership is based in Asia, and this a strategic market for all of our Members.
Guevara continued, “There are three things on which we can do to continue working together: connectivity, collaboration, and commitment.
“First, keep connecting with consumers, between countries, and with each other – it’s both physical and digital connectivity. Second, we will be able to achieve our objectives by collaborating, whether that’s to prepare for a crisis, enhance security, or implement the latest technology. Finally, commitment to growing Travel & Tourism sustainably, and long-term planning for growth, are crucial.
”Delegates were addressed by 20 speakers from across the region and sector – half of them women – including Pansy Ho, Group Executive Chairman and Managing Director, Shun Tak Holdings; Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director, Macau Government Tourism Office; Jane Sun, CEO, Ctrip.com; Madam Wang Ping, Chairman of China Chamber of Tourism; Ge Huayong, Chairman of the Board, China UnionPay; and James Riley, Group Chief Executive, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. The featured sessions explored “ leadership in a time of flux, crisis management and traveler safety, digitalization, and luxury travel.
The Forum coincided with a historic moment for the region ahead of the official opening of the highly anticipated Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which will become the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge at 34 miles (55km) long.
Guevara, addressing the Opening Ceremony of the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macau, said “China is leading Travel & Tourism growth around the world. I commend the Chinese government’s focus on building bridges, both physical and virtual, connecting people and places, countries and continents. As the body which represents the private sector globally, WTTC partners with government and industry organizations for a shared future of successful and sustainable growth. The opportunities for our sector will outweigh any challenges.”