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Asia-Europe Meeting tourism forum opens in HCM City

Sustainability was the major topic at an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) forum on tourism development opened in Ho Chi Minh City on September 11.

HCM City (VNA) - The forum was honoured with the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Jini Cunek of the Czech Republic and Ministers of Tourism from Laos and Cambodia, in addition to the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism of host Vietnam Hoang Tuan Anh.

The event also drew a 250-strong crowd as members of the ASEM diplomatic corps in Hanoi, senior officials in charge of tourism from the member countries and executives of the domestic hospitality industry.

Host Minister Hoang Tuan Anh made a full commitment to ASEM ties in tourism while calling for stronger cooperation and assistance from member countries.

Conservation of cultural heritages and identities, eco-environment protection, tourism contributions to rural development and poverty reduction were highlighted as long-term measures for sustainable growth in the two continents.

The World Tourism Organisation reported that Asia and Europe welcomed 828.7 million foreign arrivals in 2007, accounting for over 92 percent of the world’s total. European countries made up 53.5 percent of the world’s total with 480 million arrivals.

The Asian-Pacific region recorded the highest growth rate in the number of foreign arrivals at 10 percent against the world average of 4 percent. The rate in Vietnam reached over 17 percent.

On the sideline of the event, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Jini Cunek met with Minister Hoang Tuan Anh on bilateral ties.

Cunek highly valued Vietnam’s tourism potential and pledged to share experiences on this field, especially in environment, the most important issue in tourism development and of both the Czech Republic and Vietnam ’s concerns.

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