Pansy Ho, vice chairman and secretary-general of the Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF), participated in the Ministerial Debate on Education and Employment in Tourism: Realizing SDG 4 and SDG 8 at the recent 23rd General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in St Petersburg, Russia.
Joined onstage by 12 global tourism ministers, key corporate leaders and leaders of academic institutions, Ho spoke of the future of work in tourism and the sector’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
During the debate, she highlighted the key role that women play in tourism, the opportunities tourism offers young people, and the importance of public-private partnerships in fostering a talented workforce.
Ho also brought attention to the importance of the human touch and how the trend of immersive travel creates opportunities for local communities to present a holistic view of their heritage, art, food and environment.
In terms of education, she highlighted the success of Macau, which has emphasised community engagement as a means to expose students to the different dimensions of tourism and to potential career opportunities. Macau is taking the long view on talent management, aiming to engender pride in its local heritage, traditions, arts and crafts.
As well, Ho highlighted how the GTEF, founded in Macau in 2012, illustrates the importance of home-grown service talent for both the tourism and MICE markets. By hosting the annual GTEF, Macau is facilitating the continuous development of human capital, in terms of employment and vocational training, while showcasing Macau as a tourism and leisure destination.
The GTEF was also the sponsor of the 15th edition of the UNWTO Awards, which took place on September 10. Held during the UNWTO General Assembly, the awards celebrate inspirational projects that have made a valuable contribution in the advancement of sustainable tourism.
GTEF says its support of the UNWTO Awards strengthens the collaboration between the two organisation in promoting the sustainable development of tourism. Past examples of this collaboration include the appointment of Ho as UNWTO tourism ambassador in 2018 for her contributions in promoting regional and global tourism cooperation and sustainable tourism and, in 2017, GTEF acting as a key sponsor of the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.