APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism opens

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– On June 19, APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism in the framework of the APEC Viet Nam 2017, chaired by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, was officially opened in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province.


The dialogue had the attendances of Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai, Chairman of Quang Ninh People's Committee Nguyen Duc Long; Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat  Alan Bollard; ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh; representatives of APEC economies, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union for Nature (IUCN), the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and international speakers.


Speaking at the event, Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien emphasized that tourism has always been a priority of APEC since the forum was established in 1989. In the framework of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism is a good opportunity for APEC member economies to identify the current situation, discuss measures to promote sustainable tourism development, contributing to the achievement of 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations.


According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2016, travel and tourism generated USD 1.3 trillion of the APEC GDP, supported 67 million direct jobs and accounted for 6.1% of the region’s export. In particular, tourism development has significant effects on poverty reduction and inclusive growth, increasing income for local communities and improving social welfare.


According to the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU), every 1% increase on tourist arrivals is associated with a 0.12% reduction in the number of poor people in the region. Every 10% increase on tourist arrivals is associated with a 1.2% increase on exports and 0.8% increase on imports (in the destination economy). Tourism is one of the region’s fastest growing industries, therefore, is of significantly importance  to the economic development of APEC economies.


In addition, the fourth industrial revolution is forecasted to create the big change to the tourism. It requires to strengthen cooperation in order to ensure economic and social benefits, create jobs, reduce poverty; preserve cultural values; enhance culture exchanges and mutual understanding; protect and manage environmental resources and biodiversity.


Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien informed that Viet Nam tourism sector is growing strongly, aiming to welcome 17-20 million international tourist arrivals, contributing more than 10% to GDP in 2020. Viet Nam has been an attractive tourist destination with its unique culture and history; special natural landscapes, top beautiful beaches of the world; safe and friendly tourism environment.


In the morning, international speakers also presented speeches as  "Tourism and sustainable tourism development agenda: Recommendation for APEC economies"; "Challenges for sustainable tourism development"; "APEC sustainable tourism and revolution 4.0"; "Tourism strategies in response to the challenges, including the climate change"; "Aviation’s contribution to economies and response to the environmental challenge...


At the lunchtime, delegates had a dialogue session with the APEC businesses.