NDO – Tourism is one of the pillars of the economy, significantly contributing to the economic development of the member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.
This remark was made by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, at the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism, held on June 19 in Ha Long city, in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
The event featured the participation of around 150 delegates from 21 economies in the Asia Pacific region, as well as speakers from prestigious international organisations, such as the United National World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the International Air Transport Association and International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Addressing the meeting, Minister Thien emphasised that the event was a good opportunity for APEC members to jointly identify the reality of the situation, as well as set out practical activities and the specific measures required to promote sustainable tourism development and to contribute to the implementation of 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nation.
The effective efforts of the region’s members, in sustainably developing tourism, would contribute to building a more dynamic, sustainable and harmonious Asia-Pacific community, added the Minister.
The Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Alan Bollard, gave his appreciation for Vietnam’s initiative in organising the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism. He also said that small and medium-sized enterprises play a very important role in the tourism sector’s sustainable development and that the economies should focus on local advantages, as well as paying greater attention to environmental protection.
The organisation of the dialogue has contributed to affirming the position and role of Vietnam in formulating policies for sustainable tourism development within the region.
At the event, APEC’s tourism leaders will adopt a statement on sustainable tourism development, including specific recommendations and directions to sustainably develop tourism in the region.
Speaking at the dialogue, Chairman of Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee, Nguyen Duc Long, stated that the province is striving to become an international tourist centre and a leading tourist destination in the country.
The APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism was a great opportunity for Vietnamese tourism, including Quang Ninh, to seek out and strengthen relations with APEC member economies and other important partners.
According the UNWTO, APEC destinations attracted 415 million international visitors in 2016. The tourism and travel industries directly contributed US$1.3 trillion to APEC’s GDP, as announced by the World and Travel Council.