APEC Tourism Ministers to Meet in Vietnam
Typhoon-devastated town of Hoi An ready to host the meeting
Tran Van Loi (loitran)
The fourth APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting (TMM) is scheduled to take place in Hoi An, central Quang Nam province Oct. 16-19. According to the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism, there will be more than 200 officials from 21 APEC economies attending the meeting in the ancient town, which is now a world cultural heritage site.
Under the theme "Boosting APEC Tourism Cooperation for the Common Wealth," APEC tourism officials will discuss a wide range of issues aimed at boosting APEC tourism cooperation, including guaranteeing safety for visitors, developing tourism policies, and upgrading tourism infrastructures.
According to Pham Tu, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration for Tourism, officials will also hold talks about measures to speed up exchanges of tourism information, protecting the environment and preserving cultural character for sustainable tourism development.
In particular, the meeting is expected to result in the approval of the "Hoi An statement" on intensifying APEC tourism cooperation. The statement will be an important document not only on boosting tourism cooperation among APEC economies but also on offering Quang Nam province a chance to popularize its tourism image in accordance with its motto of "Two world heritage sites at one destination."
Tu said the APEC region is home to major tourism markets of Vietnam. Accordingly, the outcomes of these meetings will constitute a bridge in enhancing bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and other APEC member economies, especially in tourism.
Other than that quite a few sideline activities will also be held on this occasion. The Tourism Fair will be held on the bank of the Hoai River, the cultural exchange night and Hoi An ancient street night will also be held with quite a few lanterns and traditional activities.
Hoi An was one of the hardest hit cities by the typhoon Xangsane last week. The typhoon damaged the town's infrastructure and tourism facilities seriously. Many streets have been ravaged.
The damage done by the typhoon raised fear that some out door activities might be canceled, such as the APEC tourism fair, since the sanitation and general condition of the town are still in poor condition and would not meet the standards for such an event. However, great efforts have been made in desalination and cleaning up the environment, repairing houses to host the important event. The officials of Hoi An have now announced that the ancient town is best prepared and ready to host the event.
In preparation for the Ministerial Meeting, the 29th meeting of the APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) will be held Oct. 12-14. The TWG meeting will propose and launch the implementation of APEC tourism cooperation projects with the intention of making tourism become a key industry in the region. The TWG will be responsible for drafting the Hoi An statement.
Other articles by reporter Tran Van Loi