The 4th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting wrapped up in Vietnam on Tuesday after issuing a declaration which covered measures to develop the region's tourism industry.
At the one-day meeting at Hoi An, ministers responsible for tourism from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) encouraged the member economies to promote sustainable tourism development, facilitate tourists' travel, share information, and organize APEC tourism fairs and forums.
Specifically, they encouraged the public-private partnerships in the fields of tourism infrastructure investment, human resource development, the improvement of quality tourism products and services, and the tourism promotion, for the non-smoke industry's sustainable development.
The ministers also said the economies should study the possibility of tour packages and new direct air linkages among cultural heritage sites and major tourism destinations in member economies in order to promote tourist flows into and within the Asia-Pacific region.
They stressed the need of organizing tourism fairs back-to-back with important APEC events and tourism investment forums on the sidelines of APEC tourism ministerial meetings, sharing information among tourism agencies of the member economies, and organizing joint activities for youth exchanges in the region.
The minister also reaffirmed the application of the Tourism Satellite Account as an important and efficient tool in measuring the contribution of tourism to economic growth, and recognized the Seoul Declaration on the APEC Tourism Charter adopted at the first meeting in South Korea in 2000 as a solid foundation and an important orientation for future tourism cooperation in the region.
APEC has 21 member economies, including China, the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia, which account for more than a third of the world's population, over 50 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP) and in excess of 41 percent of world trade.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2006)