Last updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Promoting Sustainable Tourism for an Inclusive and Interconnected Asia-Pacific

Posted: Tuesday, October 03, 2017

APEC Vietnam 2017 is an opportunity for Vietnam to approach and present the image of the country and people with its unique heritage at related events. Our reporter has an interview with Mr Tran Phu Cuong, Director of International Cooperation Department, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), on this matter. Thanh Nga reports.

APEC Vietnam 2017 is an opportunity for Vietnam to present to the world an image of a beautiful country rich in culture. What has the tourism sector done to promote tourism during APEC 2017 events?
We always believe that major international events held in Vietnam are good opportunities for us to introduce the image of Vietnam tourism to international friends. APEC is the world's leading international event, a particularly important political and economic event and we have thus prepared to introduce Vietnam's tourism during the year of APEC Vietnam 2017 since early 2016.

Since 2016, Vietnam has accelerated tourism promotion events within APEC economies (accounting for 80 per cent of Vietnam's tourism source market). In particular, the images of APEC event-hosting destinations such as Ha Long, Da Nang, Ninh Binh, Can Tho, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been in focus.

In particular, to highlight tourism in the Year of APEC Vietnam 2017, the tourism sector has proposed a High-level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism themed “Promoting sustainable tourism for an inclusive and interconnected Asia-Pacific.” This important activity is designed to promote inclusive and sustainable development in APEC and respond to the international tourism year of 2017 on sustainable tourism for development. During the APEC Summit Week 2017, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will organise promotional events with special tours, performing arts and distinctive activities to welcome APEC leaders and international guests to Da Nang City and tourist destinations in Vietnam.

The High-level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism is of great significance to Vietnamese tourism in the present. Would you tell us about this?
To support APEC Sustainable Development Goals, respond to the Year of APEC Vietnam 2017, and respond to the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism 2017 for Development, Vietnam selected “sustainable tourism” as the theme of the Dialogue, which was highly supported and appreciated by other countries. This is an opportunity for member economies to share experiences and discuss measures to enhance the efficiency of regional cooperation and integration, especially in sustainable tourism development.

For Vietnam, hosting the APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism helps strengthen Vietnam's position and role in the APEC region in shaping sustainable tourism development policies. At the same time, the dialogue was held in Ha Long City, Vietnam's world-famous natural heritage and one of seven new wonders of the world. This was a good opportunity to promote the image of the country, people and tourism of Vietnam to dialogue participants and friends worldwide.

Regarding dialogue contents, the tourism of Vietnam in particular and of APEC economies at large have experienced a period of mass tourism development. According to a report by the World Economic Forum 2017, many APEC economies have issues relating to sustainable tourism development, especially challenges of natural environment. At the dialogue, member economies shared above realities and stressed the need for measures to monitor, prevent and promptly address negative environmental impacts in tourism development. Needless to say, these contents are very important to both Vietnam and APEC economies.

Could you please tell us about APEC tourism cooperation contents?
Tourism is one of the prioritised cooperation contents of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Before integration opportunities and rising international tourism demands, the APEC Tourism Cooperation Mechanism was formally launched in 1991 with the formation of the APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) to strengthen close cooperation among member economies.

In 2000, the first APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting held in South Korea adopted the APEC Tourism Charter, an important and directional document for the APEC tourism cooperation. The APEC Ministerial Meeting is held every two years. Each meeting has a declaration expressing APEC tourism leaders’ determination to make tourism an important economic sector, an instrument to strengthen cultural exchanges, mutual understanding and cooperation to maintain peace, stability and development.

Vietnam hosted the 4th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Hoi An in 2006, which adopted the “Hoi An Declaration on Promoting APEC Tourism Cooperation”. Vietnam regularly and actively participates in important APEC tourism cooperation activities in addition to fostering bilateral cooperation with member economies. We also exempted entry visas for nine member economies and piloted electronic visa granting for three other economies to facilitating travel for visitors to Vietnam from APEC economies.

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