Jan 17, 2019 / 13:03

ASEAN Tourism Forum opens in Ha Long city

The Hanoitimes - Under the theme “ASEAN-The Power of One” the ATF will provide Vietnam a chance to improve its role and stature in regional tourism and introduce the country’s natural beauty and people to international friends.

The 2019 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) under the theme “ASEAN-The Power of One” opened in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province on January 16 with the participation of over 2,000 delegates from tourism agencies of the ASEAN countries, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO),  local and  international travel companies and tourism media outlets.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam. Photo: vov.vn
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam. Photo: vov.vn
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that the ATF has proved its increasingly significant impacts on tourism in ASEAN, especially on socio-economic, political, cultural, and tourism cooperation.
“For Vietnam, ATF will help the country shape tourism policies in rapid and sustainable development and underline the efforts of the country and other ASEAN members in building a wealthy ASEAN Community and becoming a reliable partner,” he said.
According to the deputy prime minister, the forum lays a foundation for the goal of turning ASEAN in a quality tourism destination by 2025, offering a unique and diverse ASEAN experience, the bloc will be committed to responsible, inclusive and balanced tourism development, so as to contribute significantly to the socio-economic wellbeing of ASEAN people.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said tourism proved its role as a leading economic sector of Vietnam’s economy. In 2018, the sector catered for 15.6 million international visitors and 80 million domestic tourists, contributing 8% of the national GDP.
The ATF 2019 is an opportunity for Vietnam to assert its position in regional tourism cooperation and introduce its huge potential, Thien said.
This year’s forum will focus on six main topics, including positioning ASEAN as a single destination for tourists, raising the awareness of ASEAN as a competitive tourist destination and strengthening co-operation among various economic sectors of ASEAN tourism.
Under the theme “ASEAN-The Power of One”, the ATF will provide Vietnam a chance to improve its role and stature in regional tourism and introduce the country’s natural beauty and people to international friends.
The ATF, established in 1981, is a regional effort to promote ASEAN as one tourist destination. The annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 member states. This year, the event is open to guest countries including India, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China.
This year’s forum takes place between January 16 and 18. The closing ceremony will combine with the closing ceremony of National Tourism Year 2018 - Ha Long - Quang Ninh on January 18, 2019.