Eddie Friel, expert-in-residence in Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, served as a keynote speaker during the inaugural Global Tourism Economy Forum, held Sept. 9-11 in Macau, China.
Friel presented on destination planning in front of an audience of approximately 1,000 delegates from 20 countries.
The forum was established to drive a new chapter in the tourism industries across the world. The event was an interactive discussion platform designed to capture a macro view of the interplay between tourism and other major economies, and how the momentum of each builds upon the growth of the other. By bridging the economic advantages and resources of the East with the innovation and expertise of the West, the forum aimed to spark beneficial partnerships that have the power to shape the industry toward sustainable growth on a global scale.
"For the first time in recorded history, the majority of the world's population now lives in cities," Friel told TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific. "Cities are centers of creativity and innovation. Our responsibility as citizens who inherited these places is to return them to future generations in better shape than we received them.
Organized under the theme of "Growth Driving Growth: The synergistic interplay of tourism and economic development," the event was hosted by the secretariat for social affairs and culture of the Macao SAR government, the China Chamber of Tourism under the authorization of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and coordinated by the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre.
Pansy Ho, the forum's vice chairman and secretary general, recently offered her gratitude to Friel for his shrewd presentation.
"The insights and experience you shared at the forum, which were both inspiring and intriguing, provided our delegates with a new dimension of thinking for tourism economy development. Your contribution and participation was one of the keys of the success of the forum," she said.
Friel, who joined Niagara University in 2007, has spent more than 40 years in the public and private sectors of the tourism industry in the United Kingdom, the U.S., and in Canada. He is considered to be one of the first to recognize the role of cultural tourism in destination image building and subsequently as a driver of economic regeneration. He has been an adviser to cities in Europe, Russia, USA, Canada and China and is in demand as a speaker at major international conferences. He is the recipient of many honors and awards and has served on the boards of numerous public and not-for-profit organizations.
A native of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Friel is an adviser to a number of state and municipal bodies in the Buffalo-Niagara region. He has assisted in leading several key projects designed to improve the competitiveness of upstate New York, including the "I Love NY" campaign.