MACAO -- The 43rd congress of the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies opened in China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Thursday, with 650 tourism representatives looking for opportunities in Macao and Chinese mainland market.
The five-day event is organized by Macao Government Tourism Office and the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT). Under the theme "Tourism: In the East, all new!", this year's congress attracted a record-high number of Portuguese professionals in the tourism sector.
Macao SAR government Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam said in his opening speech that Macao is participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the new development of a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. He believed they will bring more opportunities and open new horizons to Macao and Portuguese partners.
APAVT President Pedro Costa Ferreira said that Macao is an example of economic development of this region and represents a great importance to Portugal and the tourism industry, and will have a greater impact to the industry in the future.
The program of the congress included the China-Portugal Workshop in tourism and networking session, bringing together Portuguese travel agencies with delegates from about 50 travel agencies of more than 20 cities in Chinese mainland, such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Xiamen and Haikou.
Presentations about Portugal's and Guangdong Province's tourism attractions were also conducted ahead of the networking session which discussed Macao's role as a platform to boost tourism relations between China and Portuguese speaking countries.
Established in 1950, APAVT is the most representative association of the Portuguese tourism industry. This is the fifth time Macao held the APAVT National Congress.