The 5th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook, organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), was held in Guilin, China from October 26-28, 2011. Director of Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) João Maunel Costa Antunes spoke at the Opening Ceremony of the Forum and delivered closing remarks as the Vice Chairman of PATA.
Also present at the opening ceremony were Mayor of Guilin Municipal People’s Government Li Zhigang, Vice Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration Du Yili, Executive Director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Frederic Pierret, Director General of the Guangxi Tourism Administration Chen Jianjun and Chair Professor and Dean of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Kaye Chon.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony as the Vice Chairman of PATA, Antunes expressed that innovation and diversification have been central to recent tourism success in destinations such as Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Guilin and Chengdu. Tourism requires constant renewal and the Forum gave participants the inspiration and the technical knowledge to make that renewal process happen.
Together with other panelists from Korea, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia, Antunes, as the Director of MGTO, shared with the participants examples of how Macau has embraced innovation and diversification to completely reposition the destination over the last few years at the session of “Innovation and Diversification in Tourism”.
With the theme of “Innovation and Diversification of Tourism in Demanding Times, the Forum comprised two sessions, the technical session and plenary session. It aimed to provide a platform for policy makers, senior officials, researchers and industry representatives to share information, analyze the current global & regional trends affecting tourism and map out the next course of action for the future.
The forum has been successfully held four times previously in Guilin. The aim in staging such a forum is to provide an annual Pan-Asia-Pacific platform for policy makers, senior officials, researchers and industry representatives to take stock of global & regional trends and to better understand their potential impacts on tourism. The event, under the joint umbrella of the UNWTO and PATA, allows participants to share information, analyze the current tourism situation and map out the next course of action for the future. Overarched under the theme of innovation and diversification, this 5th forum aims to deliver on the following specific objectives:
- To share state-of-the-art research, practices and perspectives on innovation and diversification in new product development and in the creation of quality tourist experience at different scales or in different contexts.
- To analyze global and regional tourism trends with a focus on emerging markets with high potentials of growth.
- To exchange views and share experiences in tourism recovery for destinations after crises and/or disasters.
- To discuss the prospects of utilizing technology to promote destinations, businesses, and visitor experience.