The meeting discussed the activities to implement the Strategic Plan 2015-2019 of the APEC Tourism Working Group, based on four main orientations, including: (1) raising the public’s awareness of tourism development and recognizing tourism as driving force of economic development and the prosperity of the region; (2) ensuring inclusive and sustainable development through responsible tourism development; (3) developing human resources in tourism industry and (4) improving competitiveness and promoting regional integration through linking policies and system reformation.
APEC tourism ministers highly valued the contribution of APEC tourism and agreed to propose that APEC state members’ leaders emphasize the importance of tourism as driving force for job creation, economic development, sustainable development and peace building in the joint declaration. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, in 2015, APEC tourism generated USD 1.2 trillion, 48 million direct jobs (representing 3.2% of total employment) and 5.5% of total export value.
For travel facilitation, the UNWTO research shows that the percentage of the world’s population who needed to obtain traditional visa for international travel decreased from 77% in 2008 to 61% in 2015. The meeting focuses on discussing important topics such as implementing initiatives to facilitate travel related to the aviation industry; issues related to oceans; recovering tourism development momentum from terrorism’s influences; programs and projects on human resource development in order to improve competitiveness; sustainable and inclusive development through enhancing capacity of small and medium enterprises; and cooperation with research institutions.
In his speech, Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien spoke highly of cooperation activities under the Strategic Plan 2015-2019 of the APEC Tourism Working Group and informed about Viet Nam’s preparation for APEC Year 2017, including high-level events on tourism cooperation and welcoming the delegates to attend APEC events in Viet Nam. On the sidelines of the meeting, he had a meeting with Ms. Magali Silva - Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru to exchange experiences in organizing APEC events and cooperation potentials between the two countries.