The 10th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook was held in Guilin, China on 20-22 October 2016. 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 in collaboration with the SHTM.
Building on reviews and reflections of past years' events and their implications for the future of tourism as a driver for
smart, inclusive and sustainable growth, the 10th anniversary forum addressed the theme of "Tourism 10:10 - Looking Back to Look Forward". It provided a platform for policy makers, government officers, NGO representatives, industry practitioners and academics to share their insights, practices and research findings.
Held on 20 October, the forum's opening ceremony was hosted by Mr Zhou Jiabin, Mayor of Guilin, and officiated at by Mr Zhao Leqin, Chairman of the Guilin Municipal People's
Congress and Municipal Party Secretary; Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO; Dr Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA; and Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean and Chair Professor. The keynote session that followed, chaired by Professor Chon, was entitled "Looking Back a Decade". It featured Ms Pansy Ho, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Global Tourism Economic Forum; Mr John Kester, Director of the Tourism Market Trends Programme at the UNWTO; Professor Dai Bin, President of the China
Tourism Academy; and Mr Pang Tiejian, Investigator at the Guilin Municipal Tourism Development Commission. Featuring renowned industry leaders and prominent scholars, the plenary session on the first day was devoted to consensus building and knowledge synthesis, as well as the discussion of trends and issues for future research and practice.
The technical sessions on the second day provided ample opportunities for practitioners and academics to exchange views and perspectives on various
aspects of the theme. Moderated by Professor Geoffrey Wall from the University of Waterloo, the keynote session featured Mr Tony Wheeler, Founder of Lonely Planet, who spoke on the topic "My Travels in China and Asia - Looking Back Over 50 Years and Forward into the Future". The sessions that followed offered multiple platforms on which success stories, trends, issues and challenges were discussed.
The forum was officially closed on 21 October by Mr Xu Jing, Executive Secretary and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific at the UNWTO; Dr Hardy of PATA; Ms Chen Lihua, Vice Mayor of Guilin; and Professor Haiyan Song, SHTM Associate Dean and Chair Professor. The School is very pleased to have continued its long association with the forum, and will play a leading role in supporting the industry as it embraces the future.