Priorities for the upcoming APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting have been agreed by APEC delegates meeting this week.
A strategic review of the APEC Tourism Charter and the launch of an APEC Tourism Fair are some of the outcomes that will go to ministers following the Tourism Working Group (TWG) Meeting on 10-11 May, in Shizuoka, Japan. The TWG will also propose to hold an "APEC Tourism and Investment Forum" on the margins of future ministerial meetings with the intention of drawing investment for the ongoing development of tourism in the Asia-pacific.
The 4th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting, preceded by the 29th TWG meeting, is now scheduled to take place on October 12-19 in Hoi An, Viet Nam.
Chair of the TWG Meeting, Mr. Pham Quang Hung, said the issues that were put forward by the TWG for the ministerial meeting will boost the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific.
"Tourism is one of the greatest employers in the APEC region and the outcomes of the upcoming ministerial meeting will provide a substantial boost to jobs and incomes," Mr Pham said at the conclusion of the meeting.
"Tourism opportunities in the APEC region are diverse and have ever increasing market potential in both the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world.
"Addressing issues such as the review of the APEC Tourism Charter and undertaking activities to enhance tourism investment will help keep the industry focused on the future.
"The Strategic review of the 2000 Tourism Charter will ensure a work program that will identify and addresses the challenges affecting tourism in the coming years.
"The plan will be of benefit to both large and small tourism related businesses."
Mr Pham said areas that the TWG meeting identified as being particularly important to the development of tourism include the "facilitation of tourist movements in the region by reducing unnecessary red tape. This includes streamlining business procedures, connecting tours and opening direct flights between the world cultural heritages in member economies.
"By working and planning as a regional community we can maximize the returns from tourism potential in the APEC region."
The TWG Meeting included presentations from a number of government and private sector regional tourism experts including the Executive Director of the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism. Youth and Sister Cities Exchanges were also highlighted in the meeting.
The APEC Tourism Working Group was established in 1991 to promote the development for tourism as an important component of economic growth and social development in the Asia-Pacific.