The event attracted the attendance of officials in charge of tourism, finance, customs, immigration, security, transportation and airport authorities of APEC economies, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). The representative of Viet Nam was Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Director General of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
The dialogue focused on facilitation measures that could help to ease travel among APEC economies.
In addition, the report on impact of visa facilitation on the APEC economies was also given at the dialogue by UNWTO and WTTC. Accordingly, though there have been improvements of visa facilitation, APEC’s open reciprocity to non-member economies is still at 20%.
The dialogue also encouraged the cooperation and agreement between different APEC’s forums and programs to support visa facilitation initiatives as well as the implementation of the Advance Passenger Information and Trusted Traveler Program.
Speaking of the Tourist Friendly Airport Program, VNAT’s Director General Nguyen Van Tuan said the airports have just been focusing on air traffic but tourism hospitality which is an important factor to impress tourists on their arrivals.
In addition, he also stressed that to implement tourist friendly airport program effectively, the APEC economies should enhance quality of infrastructure; ensure safety and security for travelers; provide guidance on detailed processes and procedures of checking passports and visas at the border; offer necessary services with clear information about travel destinations; and improve hospitablility of airport staffs; and set behavioral rules for both staffs and passengers.
The dialogue also reached consensus on the Joint Declaration of APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Travel Facilitation which will be summitted to the APEC Ministerial Meeting.
Joint statement of APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Travel Facilitation