HANOI, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- At the 18th Meeting of ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Ministers held on Friday in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province, head of the Chinese delegation gave suggestions on the future development of ASEAN+3 tourism cooperation.
According to Xiong Bo, the Chinese ambassador to Vietnam, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its three partner countries, i.e. China, Japan and South Korea, should actively implement the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2020, strengthen inter-governmental cooperation and industrial cooperation, promote the quality-upgrading of tourism cooperation, and push forward the healthy, stable and sustainable development of regional tourism cooperation.
"Second, we should strengthen exchanges and cooperation, and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results," he said.
Relevant parties should share the best practices and experience of tourism of various countries in various areas such as creating employment, driving investment, stimulating consumption, reducing poverty, promoting economic transition, and achieving sustainable development, to realize the regional common development, Xiong explained.
The 13 countries should also adhere to the people-oriented principle, and promote people-to-people exchanges, the ambassador said.
On the basis of equality and mutual benefits, they should promote data-sharing of tourism and personnel exchanges, carry out joint promotion of tourism resources, support the development of high-quality tourism, encourage participating and organizing tourism festivals and exhibitions, strengthen cooperation in human resources development, enhance the inter-connectivity of aviation, expand mutual investment in tourism, improve the safety of tourism facilities, and integrate the emergency response mechanism for tourism accidents.
APT tourism cooperation has great potential and broad prospects. "China is willing to work with all parties concerned to strengthen communication and coordination, continuously build consensus, and jointly promote APT tourism cooperation to a higher level, in order to make greater contributions to maintain peace, stability and development of this region," Xiong stressed.
China and ASEAN countries are important origins and destinations of tourists, he said, noting that in 2017, China and ASEAN successfully held the "China-ASEAN Tourism Cooperation Year", and the personnel exchanges between China and ASEAN reached 49 million.
In the first three quarters of 2018, the number of visitors from ASEAN countries to China reached 18.8 million with a year-on-year increase of 21.4 percent, the number of Chinese citizens visiting ASEAN countries was over 25 million with a year-on-year rise of 20.4 percent. The personnel exchanges between two sides are estimated to exceed 58 million for the whole year of 2018.
"People-to-people exchanges and cooperation have become a significant pillar and bright spot of China-ASEAN cooperation," stated the Chinese delegate.
Addressing the meeting, Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien highlighted the meaning and significance of tourism cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea.
The 13 countries should touch upon and put forth measures to increase the numbers of people from ASEAN members and its three partner countries to visit each other, and bolster cooperation on spheres of mutual interest to bring tourism cooperation between the two sides to a new height, contributing to their stronger cultural exchanges, closer friendly and cooperative ties, and bigger prosperity, the Vietnamese minister said.
Themed "ASEAN -- The Power of One," the 38th ASEAN Tourism Forum, which is in line with ASEAN cooperation towards a "One Vision, One Identity, One Community" bloc, concluded on Friday in Ha Long.
The five-day forum attracted some 2,000 delegates from various agencies and organizations who attended dozens of tourism meetings and related events.
During the events, including the 49th Meeting of the ASEAN National Tourism Organizations, the 18th ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Ministers Meeting, and an international travel fair, the delegates discussed policy frameworks and directions for developing tourism in ASEAN, including ensuring that ASEAN tourism is sustainable and inclusive, and sharpening competitive edges of the block as a single tourism destination.
During the meetings, delegates showed a strong determination in realizing the target of ASEAN becoming a quality tourism destination by 2025.