Việt Nam calls for ASEAN cooperation to spur tourism development

February 06, 2023 - 15:02
Vietnamese deputy tourism minister described culture as the core value of the regional tourism and a unique factor helping the countries attract tourists.
Art performances at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia. — Photo from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

JAKARTA — Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Đoàn Văn Việt has called on other ASEAN member countries to support and cooperate with each other in tourism development.

Speaking at a press conference on the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023 in Indonesia on Sunday, the official said apart from traditional markets that have experienced difficulties, ASEAN should seek new ones and adjust some policies relating to aviation connection and visas.

He also suggested the bloc continue implementing tourism development strategies for 2016-25 and adjust and update them after each meeting of ASEAN tourism ministers.

Việt described culture as the core value of regional tourism and a unique factor helping the countries attract tourists.

Sharing Việt's view, Philippine Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco also suggested ASEAN countries come together to offer unified tourism packages.

“We have agreed to increase first connectivity between our countries and to concretise that by identifying the international and secondary airports that may be utilised for the purpose of expanding direct flights, not only towards our key destinations, but also to emerging destinations,” she told a press conference.

Juliana Kua, Assistant Chief Executive Officer at the Singapore Tourism Board, said ASEAN should get a common understanding and a common plan for the sustainable development of the tourism industry.

For his part, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said the forum sought ways to strengthen the intra-bloc connectivity to facilitate travel and tourism in the region.

Delegates also exchanged views on measures to increase flights from India and lure more Chinese tourists after the country reopened its borders in the spirit of “ASEAN as a single destination”.

The forum sent a message of ASEAN’s recovery, especially in terms of quality, sustainable tourism, as well as its diversity in nature and culture, the minister noted.

The ATF 2023, including the 26th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, took place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from February 2-5.

At the events, Việt Nam introduced its tourism development, mechanisms and policies, tourism products and services after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the message of Việt Nam tourism through the slogan "Việt Nam - Timeless Charm" and the campaign "Live fully in Việt Nam".

According to data from the ASEAN Secretariat, in 2019, international tourist arrivals in Southeast Asia reached 143.5 million, accounting for 9.6 per cent of global international tourists. The growth rate reached 6.1 per cent, 2.1 per cent higher than the world's average.

For Việt Nam, ASEAN is one of the most important markets and partners. In 2019, visitors from ASEAN to Việt Nam hit nearly 2.1 million, accounting for about 11.6 per cent of the total number of international arrivals to the nation. — VNS