The APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) will discuss challenges facing the tourism industry when it meets in Hualien City, Chinese Taipei, from 19 - 23 November.
Chair of the APEC TWG, Juan Carlos Arnau of Mexico, said despite current pressure on the industry, tourism is one of the main engines for growth in the regional economy.
"Prior to 2001, travel in the APEC region accounted for more than 200 million jobs and was responsible for around US$2 trillion in travel related spending each year," Mr. Arnau said.
While it is too early to properly gauge the impact of the global economic downturn and terrorist attacks since September 11, we anticipate tourism in the APEC region still accounts for around one third of global expenditure for international travelers.
With a regional economic recovery predicted in the following year, we expect renewed strength will be experienced by the tourism industry.
"This meeting of the APEC TWG is particularly important as we will be presented with updates and proposals to meet our four key tourism policy goals."
The four policy goals are as follows:
  • Remove impediments to tourism business and investment. (Report to be presented by Thailand)
  • Increase mobility of visitors and demand for tourism goods and services in the APEC region. (Report to be presented by Canada)
  • Sustainably manage tourism outcomes and impacts (Report to be presented by Korea)
  • Enhance recognition and understanding of tourism as a vehicle for economic and social development (Report to be presented by Australia)
A more comprehensive breakdown of these goals is presented in the Seoul Declaration on APEC Tourism Charter and the 2002 APEC Tourism Ministerial Manzanillo Declaration: Implementing the APEC Vision