The Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) 2023, themed “Destination 2030: Unlocking the Power of Tourism for Business and Development,” has successfully concluded, highlighting the pivotal role of tourism in global development and business.
The forum, held in Macau, served as a convergence point for government representatives, business leaders, and destinations, focusing on the transformative potential of tourism, especially in the wake of the sector’s rapid recovery post-pandemic.
According to the latest data from UNWTO, international arrivals have returned to 82% of pre-pandemic levels, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to meet the needs of people and the planet while contributing to prosperity. The forum underscored the importance of public-private partnerships in fostering positive and enduring change and outlined key priorities for the sector in the coming years.
China has emerged as a magnet for tourism FDI projects, securing the highest number between 2018 and 2022, contributing to around 15% of the total market share in the Asia and Pacific region. During this period, foreign investors announced 2,415 tourism greenfield FDI projects, with a total capital investment of USD 175.5 billion, primarily in hotel infrastructure, technology, innovation, and tourism entertainment.
Venture capital funding in travel and tourism has reached USD 48 billion over the last five years (2018-2023), with travel, hospitality, and air transportation being the prime beneficiaries.
UNWTO has collaborated with leading Chinese academic institutions, including Beijing International Studies University, the Mandarin Center, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, to offer online courses aimed at enhancing the professional understanding of innovation among tourism workers.
UNWTO has fortified its relationships with key partners like the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Radisson Hotel Group, AIM Global Foundation, LUAfund, Yellow River Global Capital Limited, and fDi Intelligence from the Financial Times, to ensure the resilient, sustainable, and inclusive growth of the tourism sector.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili expressed his optimism about the forum, stating it as the world’s premier platform for cooperation between governments and the private sector in tourism for development.
Focusing on Sustainable Growth
The 2nd World Tourism Investment & Financing Conference, organized by GTEF and the Ivy Alliance in collaboration with UNWTO, provided insights into the challenges and opportunities for tourism investments globally. UNWTO emphasized the need for investing in education, innovation, technology, and youth empowerment through public-private cooperation to assure the sustainable growth of the sector.