The 12th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook was held in Guilin, China on 25-27 October 2018. Jointly organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the forum was co-organised by the Guilin Municipal People's Government and Guangxi Tourism Administration in collaboration with the SHTM.
To advance the mission of promoting tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive
development and environmental sustainability, and in consideration of the varying levels of tourism development and the different position of tourism in the development strategies and agendas of both developed and developing economies, the forum took the theme "The Future of Tourism". It provided a platform for government officials, representatives of NGOs, industry practitioners and academics to share their perspectives, research findings and best practice.
The forum was opened on 25
October, with the session "Setting the Scene: Tourism Trends Towards 2030". This was followed by the Keynote Session, entitled "The Future of China Tourism", moderated by Dr Catherine Cheung, SHTM Associate Dean. The session featured Mr Yan Han, Deputy Secretary General of World Tourism Cities Federation; Professor Nelson Graburn, Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley; Professor Bao Jigang, School of Tourism Management of Sun Yat-sen University, Changjiang
Distinguished Professor; Professor Cheng Daopin, President, Guilin Tourism University; Mr Jacopo Sertoli, President, Welcome Chinese; and Professor Ling Changrong, Department of Tourism Management, Business School, Guangxi University. Featuring renowned industry leaders and prominent scholars, the two panel sessions held on the day were devoted to the topics "Human Capital Development Towards 2030" and "Technological Frontiers of Future Tourism".
Held on the second day, the forum's
opening ceremony was hosted by Mr Qin Chuncheng, Mayor of Guilin, and officiated by Mr Zhao Leqin, Deputy Director of Standing Committee of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region People's Congress, Secretary of Guilin Municipal Committee of the CPC, Director of Standing Committee of Guilin Municipal People's Congress; Mr Zhu Shanzhong, Executive Director of the UNWTO; Dr Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA; Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International
Hospitality Management; Mr Li Bin, Vice Chairman of the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; and Mr Li Shihong, Member of Party Group, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.
The keynote sessions and panel session that followed provided ample opportunities for practitioners and academics to exchange views on various aspects of the forum's theme. Moderated by Mr Michel Julian, Programme Officer, Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO, the two Opening Keynote Sessions were entitled "The Future of Tourism" and "Achieving Sustainable Development Goals". The day also featured a panel session entitled "Tourism Policies and Business in
the 2030s", which was moderated by Professor John Koldowski, Leshan Normal University, China and Special Advisor, PATA. The day closed with the Keynote Session entitled "The Future of Technology in/for Tourism", which was moderated by Dr Sangwon Park, SHTM Associate Professor.
The forum was officially closed on 26 October by Mr Zhu Shanzhong, Executive Director, UNWTO; Dr Mario Hardy of PATA; Mr He Yunbao, Deputy Director of Standing Committee of Guilin Municipal People's Congress; Mr
Xiao Lihua, Vice Chairman of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Guilin Committee; and Dean Kaye Chon of the SHTM. The School is honoured to be playing a key role in defining the roadmap for future tourism, and will continue its ongoing efforts to lead the tourism sector into the future.