The Asia – Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism opened in Ha Long City, the northern province of Quang Ninh on June 19 as part of the eventful 2017 APEC year.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam Nguyen Ngoc Thien chaired the Dialogue, which gathers 150 delegates from APEC economies, tourism enterprises and experts from tourism related international organisations.
Tourism has been one of key factors in cooperation between APEC member economies, said Thien at the opening ceremony, adding that it is an opportunity for APEC member economies to realise current situations and discuss specific measures to foster tourism cooperation in the bloc, he noted.
The minister said the Dialogue is an initiative of Vietnam to realise the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth and contribute to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development set by the United Nations.
During the event, representatives will discuss and share experiences to promote the sustainable tourism development policy in the Asia-Pacific region. The event also consists of a dialogue with APEC business community on sustainable tourism development.
Tourism cooperation among APEC members officially began in 1991 with the establishment of APEC Tourism Working Group. In 2000, the APEC Tourism Charter, an important document providing long-term direction for the APEC tourism cooperation, was adopted at the first APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting in the Republic of Korea.
In 2016, Vietnam hosted the fourth APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Hoi An, which adopted the “Hoi An Declaration on the Promotion of APEC Tourism Cooperation”. The country has also regularly and actively participated in most important activities of APEC tourism cooperation and promoted bilateral ties with APEC member economies. To date, Vietnam has exempted entry visas for nine APEC member economies and implemented electronic visas for three other countries. Top ten source markets of Vietnam in 2016 are APEC member economies.
Established in 1989, APEC comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.