Published on : Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is currently holding its 22nd Session of the General Assembly in Chengdu, Sichuan Province from 11 – 16 September. Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is attending the UNWTO General Assembly as an Associate Member to further enhance Macao’s involvement in international tourism organizations and exchange perspectives with other participants on tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). MGTO Deputy Director Cecilia Tse and Head of Organizational Planning and Development Department, Ricky Hoi, are in Chengdu for participation in the 22nd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly and various activities in the program.
The United Nation has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In tandem with this, the UNWTO General Assembly orients its 22nd Session around the theme “Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals: Journey to 2030”. The Session will devise concrete actions to ensure tourism will be a leading contributor for the achievement of the universal Sustainable Development Goals. A new UNWTO Secretary General for the next term will also be elected at this Session of the General Assembly.
With its 22nd Session unveiled this morning (13 September), the UNWTO General Assembly is held in Western China for the first time. The General Assembly features a series of six Plenary Sessions, over 30 themed sessions and Regional Committee Meetings as well as the General Assembly Special Session on Smart Tourism as a new highlight. MGTO attended the opening ceremony, a High-Level Segment and Plenary Sessions as part of the program. Regarding its relevant work, MGTO also expressed and exchanged opinions with other participants at the Associate Members Meeting, the Meeting of the Regional Committee for East Asia/Pacific, the Meeting of the Committee on Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account as well as the Meeting of the Working Group on the UNWTO Draft Convention on Tourism Ethics.
A High-Level Segment was held this morning, featuring ministerial discussions on the topics “Realizing the SDGs through Tourism” and “Building Partnerships – Reinforcing the Belt and Road Tourism Cooperation”. Close to 20 ministers presented their perspectives in the meeting, while UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai and CNTA Chairman Li Jinzao gave their remarks and keynote speech respectively.
Held biannually, the UNWTO General Assembly is the largest high-level meeting for the global tourism community, attended by senior tourism officials and leaders of the private sector from around the world. This Session of the UNWTO General Assembly is the most attended ever, gathering more than 1,300 registered delegates from over 130 countries and regions with over 75 ministerial officials among them.
In addition, the Inauguration Ceremony of the World Tourism Alliance was held in Chengdu on 12 September and attended by all the dignitaries, ministers and delegates concurrently participating in the UNWTO General Assembly. The establishment of the Alliance was initiated by China.
As an Associate Member of UNWTO since 1981, Macao has established a solid foundation for cooperation with the Organization. Throughout the years, Macao has been actively supporting and engaging in events and projects organized by UNWTO, with the aim to strengthen international tourism cooperation and enhance Macao’s profile and engagement in international tourism organizations.