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Dinh Vu


Last updated: Monday, September 24, 2018


APEC: Opportunity to Spread Image of Vietnam

Posted: Thursday, November 02, 2017

With major APEC events across 2017, the image of the land and people of Vietnam is spread naturally to the world through international media.

About 11,000 people from 21 APEC economies and the world will gather in Vietnam for APEC meetings. According to experts, this is a unique opportunity of the tourism industry. APEC 18 held in Hanoi in 2006 created a miraculous development for trade and investment in the world. APEC 21 held in Da Nang in late 2017 is expected to repeat this miracle.

Vietnam has regularly and actively taken part in APEC important tourism cooperation and bilateral economic cooperation with member economies. Vietnam has exempted entry visas for nine APEC member economies and piloted electronic visas for three other economies to facilitate travelling for tourists. In 2016, tourists from APEC economies to Vietnam reached more than 8.1 million out of a total of 10 million, or 81 per cent of total international arrivals to Vietnam.

In the APEC Vietnam Year 2017, Vietnam launched a High-Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism to achieve sustainable development in APEC in response to the International Sustainable Tourism Year of the United Nations. This high-level policy dialogue on sustainable tourism was held in Ha Long City in June 2017.

To boost the image of Vietnamese tourism, the tourism industry has implemented on-site promotion to delegates attending meetings in Vietnam. Especially, in 10 provinces and cities where APEC events were held, it established free information desks, organised free tour programmes and presented souvenirs. APEC 2017 not only created a breakthrough opportunity for the community of Vietnamese tourism companies in approaching the target markets defined the Vietnam Tourism Development Strategy: North America (the United States and Canada), Northeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and China, but also an important opportunity to introduce the image of Vietnam - a peace-loving state where there are unique cultural traditions, picturesque natural landscapes, friendly people and safe destinations.

In particular, localities selected for hosting APEC 2017 events will have the opportunity to organise Famtrip tours to introduce local tourism potential, advantages and tourism products; organise tourism investment promotion and exchange activities between APEC delegates and local communities to help the guests have true-to-life experiences with Vietnamese people. Fine impressions will be conveyed by APEC 2017 delegates to their peoples and tourism cooperation between Vietnam and APEC member countries will be thus strengthened in the future.

APEC tourism cooperation was officially initiated in 1991 with the formation of the Tourism Working Group (TWG). In 2000, the first APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting took place in South Korea and adopted the APEC Tourism Charter, an important and directional document for APEC tourism cooperation.

The APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting meets every two years. Each meeting issues a declaration to demonstrate the will of APEC Tourism Leaders to bring tourism into an important economic sector, a tool for strengthening cultural exchanges, mutual understanding, cooperation and contribute to peace, stability and development.

According to statistics, APEC is becoming an attractive and friendly destination for visitors from APEC and beyond. In 2015, APEC received over 396 million tourists, representing 33 per cent of the world's total tourist arrivals, earned US$598 billion of tourism revenue, accounting for 44.5 percent of global travel income; and generated 47.9 million tourism jobs. According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), by 2020, the Asia - Pacific region will account for 27 per cent of global tourists, a sharp rise from 19 per cent in 1995, while arrivals to Europe will fall from 60 per cent to 46 per cent. This trend will continue after that.

Opportunities that APEC 2017 brings to Vietnamese tourism are enormous. In order to realise those opportunities and create new motives for Vietnam's tourism development, the entire tourism sector must take joint actions with a sharp mind and a strong will.

Quynh Anh

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