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Global Tourism Economy Research behind UNWTO Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Global Tourism Economy Research behind UNWTO Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

The Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) is proud to be one of the Official Sponsors of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017).

On January 18th, IY2017 was officially launched at the International Tourism Fair of Spain (FITUR) in Madrid. In his Opening Remark, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said: “2017 is a unique opportunity for us to promote the contribution of tourism to achieving the future we want – and also to determine, together, the exact role we will have tourism play in the sustainable development agenda, to and beyond 2030. A unique opportunity to ensure that tourism is a pillar in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


Ms. Pansy Ho, Chairman of GTERC and Secretary-General and Vice Chairman of Global Tourism Economy Forum, was one of the distinguished Officiating Guests at the Opening Ceremony. Eminent Officiating Guests from the public sector included Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO; H.E. Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia; H.E. Mr. Ricardo Alvarez Arias, Vice-President of Honduras; H.E. Mr. Alfonso Maria Dastis Quecedo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain; H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; Mr. Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO; and Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Renowned Officiating Guests from the private sector comprised a stellar line-up of global enterprises and organizations which are also Official Sponsors of IY2017.

The United Nations 70th General Assembly has named 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, aiming to raise awareness among stakeholders in both the public and private sectors on how sustainable tourism can contribute to development, and to inspire collaboration among stakeholders to make positive changes through tourism such as changes in policies, business practices and consumer behavior.

UNWTO has been tasked to facilitate the implementation of IY2017, in collaborations with Governments, pertinent entities within the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, and other relevant stakeholders. UNWTO will promote tourism’s role in IY2017 in five crucial areas: (1) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth; (2) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; (3) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change; (4) Cultural values, diversity and heritage; and (5) Mutual understanding, peace and security.

GTERC is thrilled to support IY2017 as the Centre believes this initiative is destined to not only create a lasting positive impact on the world, but also demonstrate the collective resolve of the industry. Working hand in hand with UNWTO and its strategic public and private partners, GTERC was the first to use its Global Tourism Economy Forum platform to spearhead discussion and exchange among stakeholders on how sustainable tourism development can be achieved based on the framework of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

About Global Tourism Economy Research Centre

The Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC) was established in Macau in 2012. Strategically based in Macau which is at the forefront of Asia’s burgeoning tourism economy, the Centre is an independent, non-profit international research organization with a special purview on tourism and travel development in Asia. The Centre also functions as the Secretariat of the Global Tourism Economy Forum. 

The Centre shares insights with international and regional tourism stakeholders in the public and private sectors on how tourism economic development in Asia has positively impacted, and will continue to drive, global economic growth. The Centre’s progressive and unique approach to aggregating and analyzing research from global authoritative bodies seeks to deliver solutions and advance ideas that will lead to the sustainable development of travel and tourism in the region and around the world.

About Global Tourism Economy Forum

The Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) is hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, co-organized by the China Chamber of Tourism under the authorization of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), coordinated by GTERC and in collaboration with UNWTO. GTEF’s supporting units include the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), and Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO).

Since its inception in 2012, GTEF has successfully established itself as an influential high-level cooperation platform to promote sustainable development in the global tourism industry with a focus on China. To date, GTEF had received more than 7,000 participants from 63 countries and regions, including delegations from 54 provinces and cities of Mainland China; and more than 300 internationally renowned speakers.

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