MOTC minister promotes sustainable tourism at APEC meet

Taiwan is committed to becoming a champion of sustainable tourism and will work with fellow Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies to implement and share best practices for inclusive, environmentally responsible growth, Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Chen Tan said.

The minister made the comments while visiting Vietnam June 18-21 for the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism. Held in Tinh Quang Ninh province, the June 18-19 gathering focused on strengthening regional cooperation in the sector and highlighting successful development models.

Taiwan is making great strides in fostering the adoption of sustainable practices under the government's Tourism 2020 initiative, Ho Chen said. Introduced in February by the Tourism Bureau, the policy seeks to raise the country's profile as a top Asian travel destination and expand tourist sources through industry transformation and strategic policymaking.

Related measures include enhancing management of scenic areas and boosting local and experiential tourism resources. The government expects the initiative to help raise the country's annual tourism revenues to NT$900 billion (US$29.6 billion) by 2020.

In addition to attending the two-day APEC gathering, the minister held bilateral talks with tourism officials from Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to Ho Chen, his discussions with Benito C. Bengzon, Jr., undersecretary for tourism development of the Philippines, centered on furthering collaboration on cruise ship tours, including jointly promoting destinations in the two countries in the long-distance cruise market.

The meeting with Alexander Basov, representative of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation, focused on establishing Taipei-Moscow flight connections so as to strengthen tourism exchanges between the two countries.

Ho Chen also conducted interviews with several local media outlets, during which he highlighted Vietnam's efforts to attract visitors by promoting cultural performances and traditions. According to the minister, these efforts align with Taiwan's measures to foster slow tourism, which encourages visitors to develop meaningful connections with their vacation destinations by opting for authentic experiences in terms of culture, food, heritage and the environment.

Source: Taiwan Today