The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, met with the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr Zurab Pololikashvili. They discussed enhancing the quality of Macao’s tourism industry and upgrading it, and expansion of its sources of international tourists. They also exchanged opinions on topics such as training of professional talent.
The meeting was held on Thursday (21 September) at the Government Headquarters in Macao.
The Chief Executive started by welcoming the Secretary-General and thanking him for leading a delegation to Macao to attend the Global Tourism Economy Forum • Macao 2023. Mr Ho also expressed gratitude for UNWTO’s long-term support for Macao’s tourism industry.
Mr Ho said the Forum had attracted to Macao culture and tourism ministers and industry leaders from a number of countries, to participate in the event. Their involvement helped promote to the world the message of Macao's tourism and overall economic recovery.
The Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government had been working hard to build an industrial structure in line with Macao’s current and sustainable development, said Mr Ho. In terms of the tourism industry, the MSAR Government has appealed to the city’s six integrated leisure and tourism enterprises to strengthen diversification of their respective non-gaming projects, taking advantage of Macao's high-quality tourism facilities, and its profound historical and cultural heritage. Such consolidatory effort helped advance Macao’s tourism industry. Mr Ho said he looked forward to further support from UNWTO in terms of helping Macao to expand its sources of overseas-based tourists.
Mr Ho also said the MSAR Government looked forward to seeing an even greater amount of cooperation between UNWTO and Macao’s higher education institutions, in order to cultivate high-end talent for Macao, mainland China, and the global tourism industry.
Secretary-General Pololikashvili noted the global tourism and aviation industries had previously been impacted by the epidemic, and the Forum had also been suspended for two years. Now, the Forum was being successfully held again, providing an opportunity for ministerial officials from China and overseas countries to gather. It fully proved the importance of, and support for, the Forum across the world.
Mr Pololikashvili said he hoped that in future other places could be added as host locations for the Forum. This would help in the worldwide promotion of the purpose and concept of the Forum. Mr Pololikashvili also said that UNWTO had plans to strengthen cooperation with higher education institutions in Macao, to offer courses in tourism, communications, marketing, and other major subjects, in a bid to help build Macao into an educational hub for tourism talent training.
Macao’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Lei Wai Nong, and Vice Chairperson and Secretary-General of the Global Tourism Economy Forum, Ms Pansy Ho Chui King, also attended the meeting.