October 2021
Volume 22, Issue 4
Newsletter of School of Hotel & Tourism Management
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
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15th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook Successfully Held in Guilin
The 15th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook was held in Guilin, China from 15 to 17 October 2021. 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 the Department of Culture and Tourism of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in collaboration with the SHTM.

With the theme "Tourism and Rural Development", the forum served as a knowledge platform where national tourism administrations, national tourism organisations, destination management organisations, government officials, NGOs, industry practitioners and academics shared trends, insights, research findings and best practices.

The forum was opened on 15 October by Mr Jiabin ZHOU, Secretary, Guilin Municipal Committee, CPC; Mr Zurab POLOLIKASHVILI, Secretary General, UNWTO; Ms Liz ORTIGUERA, CEO, PATA; Professor Kaye CHON, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter and Wendy Kwok Family Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management; and Mr Bin LI, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region People's Government. The opening session was moderated by Mr Chu LI, Mayor of Guilin.

The keynote presentations and panel sessions that followed gave the practitioners and academics present the opportunity to exchange views on various topics connected to the theme of the forum. The first keynote presentation was delivered by Professor Jigang BAO, Professor, School of Tourism, Sun Yat-sen University, who spoke on the topic "Tourism and Rural Development: Instances and Practices in Guangxi and Yunnan, China". The session was moderated by Dr Qu XIAO, SHTM Associate Professor.

The first of the four panel sessions was titled "Placing Tourism as a Strategic Pillar in Policies for Rural Development". Moderated by Professor Honggen XIAO, SHTM Professor, the panelists were Ms Sandra CARVO, Chief, Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO; Ms Christina LEALA GALE, Manager, Sustainable Tourism and Research Division, South Pacific Tourism Organisation; Professor Amran HAMZAH, Professor in Tourism Planning and Director, Centre for Innovative Planning and Development, University Technology Malaysia Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying; Mr Patrick TORRENT, former NECSTouR President and Executive Director of the Catalan Tourist Board; and Ms Olivia Fontela, Marketing Director of EscapadaRural.com.

The second panel session was titled "New Opportunities for Tourism and Rural Development: Sustainability, Innovation and Technology". Professor Joseph CHEER, Professor, Centre for Tourism Research, Wakayama University spoke on the topic "Tourism as a Mechanism for Rural Revitalisation: Potentials and Constraints". Mr Graham HARPER, Advisor for Sustainability and Social Responsibility, PATA delivered the presentation "Resilience Through Rural Tourism Diversification". Ms Annette SHARP, Director of the China Digital Agency and The Mana Tourism Collective shared her views on the topic "COVID as a Catalyst – Sustainability, Innovation and Technology". This session also featured the landscape photography of Mr Russel WONG through a special arrangement by PATA. The session was moderated by Mr John KOLDOWSKI, Special Advisor, PATA and Professor and Foreign Expert, School of Tourism, Leshan Normal University.

The second keynote presentation, "Tourism and Rural Development: A Perspective from the World Tourism Alliance", was delivered by Mr Shijun LIU, Secretary General, World Tourism Alliance. The session was moderated by Guilin Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism.

The third panel session was "Rural Development Through Tourism: The Prospects and Perspectives of Education". Dean Kaye CHON of the SHTM delivered a presentation on "Innovations and Leadership in Rural Tourism Development". Professor Han SHEN, Professor, Department of Tourism, Fudan University, spoke on the topic "Rural Tourism Development and Villager Training System". Professor Ben K GOH, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Macau University of Science and Technology, gave a talk titled "Rural Tourism Development Internship". Finally, Ms Sarah WANG, Regional Director – Greater China, World Travel and Tourism Council, delivered the presentation "Emerging Trends of Travel and Tourism in the Wake of COVID-19 and its Implications for Rural Development". The panel session moderator was Dr Qu XIAO, SHTM Associate Professor.

The fourth and final panel session focused on "Short-range Source Markets for Guilin Tourism". For this panel, Ms I Man CHAN, MSc student at the SHTM, gave a presentation titled "Market Research – Macau Tourists to Guilin", while Ms Carla VENNIN, MSc student at the SHTM, shared her findings in the presentation "Market Research – Hong Kong Tourists to Guilin". Professor Zhongjun WU, Professor of the College of Tourism and Landscape Architecture, Guilin University of Technology spoke on "Event Marketing and Rural Development: A Perspective on Longji Scenic Area". Ms Claire CHIANG, Senior Vice President/Chairperson – China Business Development, Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd., delivered a presentation titled "Guilin: Becoming a World-class Destination". The fourth panel session was moderated by Professor Honggen XIAO, SHTM Professor.

The closing ceremonies for the forum were led by Mr Harry HWANG, Director, Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO; Ms Liz ORTIGUERA, CEO, PATA; and Dr Qu XIAO, SHTM Associate Professor. The SHTM is proud to be playing a pivotal role in defining the roadmap for tourism, and will continue its efforts to lead the tourism sector into the sustainable future.

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