The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), through the IFT Tourism Research Centre, hosted the TOURISM 20:20 international symposium on 12 October at IFT new Taipa campus. Scholars, industry executives, and educators in the area of tourism from Macao and around the world attended the event and shared ideas on tourism development over the last 20 years and discussed challenges ahead in the next 2 decades. The symposium is one of the series of events celebrating the 20th anniversary of IFT.
During the opening session, Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFT and Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) welcomed all the delegates, which included more than 120 participants from the academic community and from the industry coming from at least 10 countries and regions.
After that, a signing ceremony took place during which the founding (working committee) members of the new Global Research Alliance in Tourism (GReAT) signed a Joint Statement witnessed by the UNWTO Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, and IFT’s President, Dr. Fanny Vong. The Joint Statement affirms the urgent need to address the most persistent and important research issues, problems, and unresolved questions in tourism on a global scale, through a worldwide network of institutional partners working and pooling together their collective knowledge and resources. The Director of the IFT Tourism Research Centre (ITRC), Professor Leonardo (Don) A.N. Dioko was joined by nine partners from renowned tourism research centres and universities in Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States in signing the Joint Statement.
During the symposium, discussants including Mr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Dr. Yeong-Hyeon Hwang, Chairman, Asia Pacific Tourism Association (APTA), Mr. Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO together with Dr. Kamilla Swart, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa reviewed and exchanged ideas on the lessons from the past and challenges for the future of tourism industry. Another session covering the past and future of tourism education and knowledge was discussed by Dr. Niramit Kunanuwat, Suan Dusit University, Thailand, Dean Haemoon Oh, University of South Carolina, US, Professor Noel Scott, Griffith University, Australia, and Professor Christopher Ryan, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
About the symposium
TOURISM 20:20 international symposium examined tourism development over the last 20 years and looked at the challenges ahead in the next 20. Tourism has progressed tremendously in the last twenty years. Rapid globalisation and integration, technological advances, climate change, the advent of low-cost travel and accommodation, and more open visa policies are but a few of the great changes that shaped travel. While the last two decades brought forth momentous change for all countries and for the travel industry, it also portended great adversity and difficulties on issues of security, freedom to travel, equality and emergent diseases, and conflict. Issues including how has travel changed in the last 20 years, the lessons have been learned, how has the travel industry coped with change, the opportunities and challenges lie ahead among the questions TOURISM 20:20 addressed with the help of a few individuals best placed to share their thoughts, insights, and ideas on the matter.