ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 opens in Ha Long

Thursday, 2019-01-17 13:25:31
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Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at the event
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NDO – The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2019, with the theme “ASEAN-The Power of One”, opened on January 16 in Ha Long city, in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam emphasized that for Vietnam, this is the most important forum of the tourism industry as it will help the country to make policies to develop its tourism sector in a fast and sustainable manner and underline the efforts of the country and other ASEAN members in building a wealthy ASEAN Community and a reliable partner.

The forum also lays a foundation for ASEAN to become a quality destination, providing visitors with experiences in a diverse and unique ASEAN, he added.

ASEAN Tourism Forum is the most important and largest annual event of ASEAN tourism, held rotating in ASEAN countries.

The forum looks to realize an ASEAN of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

The event brought together around 2,000 delegates from national tourism agencies of the ASEAN countries, the UNWTO, and local and international travel companies and tourism media outlets.

A performance at the opening ceremony

According to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, tourism proved its role as a leading economic sector of Vietnam’s economy. Vietnam ranked sixth out of the ten fastest growing tourist destinations in the world as voted by the World Tourism Organisation, with a growth rate of about 30% in recent years. In 2018, Vietnam welcomed 15.6 million international visitors and 80 million domestic tourists, contributing 8 percent 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, he said.

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 also includes India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia and China.