HANOI, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) issued a statement Monday in Vietnam's northern Ha Long city, pledging to promote sustainable tourism for an inclusive and interconnected Asia-Pacific.
The pledge was made at the just concluded High-level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism of the members of APEC.
In the statement, members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) strongly support the principles and actions to promote sustainable tourism, include acknowledging that sustainable tourism development is a continuous process which requires constant impact monitoring, introduction of preventive or corrective measures, fostering regional and domestic tourism policies that support the sustainable development goals, and encouraging viable, long-term economic contributions of travel and tourism in providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders.
Last year, travel and tourism directly contributed 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars to APECs gross domestic product and made up 6.1 percent of the regions exports.
Moreover, every 10-percent increase in tourist arrivals in APEC economies is associated with a 1.2-percent rise in exports and a 0.8-percent hike in imports in the destination economy.
At the dialogue, Vietnam announced visa waiver programs for visitors from nine APEC economies bilaterally, and from three others unilaterally.