The meeting attracted the participation of over 200 delegates and leaders from ASEAN NTOs and partner countries.
Speaking at the opening, General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Trung Khanh emphasised that tourism is the motivation and inevitable development trend of not only the ASEAN member states but also the whole world. In particular, tourism has contributed positively to the socio-economic development of Asia.
Therefore, promoting tourism development among ASEAN is to increase the exchange and understanding of culture and politics, Khanh said, adding that it would help promote opportunities for bilateral and multilateral tourism cooperation among ASEAN countries, as well as with the world, in addition to preserving and promoting the unique cultural values of each country, aimed at sustainable tourism.
The 49th meeting of ASEAN NTOs aims to orient ASEAN tourism development goals in the future and propose solutions to sustainable tourism development, focusing on clarifying the level of GDP contribution of the tourism industry, its growth rate and the number of international tourists.
Representatives of ASEAN national tourism agencies show their unity at the 49th meeting of ASEAN NTOs. (Photo: baoquangninh.com.vn)
During the first day of ATF 2019, there were also bilateral meetings of ASEAN national tourism agencies. On the sidelines of the major events, the organisers also arranged tours to Ha Long Bay and Yen Tu for all delegates.
The ATF 2019 will last until January 18 under the theme of “ASEAN – The Power of One”, featuring the general orientation of countries in ASEAN cooperation in general, towards an ASEAN region with “One vision, One Identity, One Community”. The content of the topic expresses the significance of the strength and beauty of the 10 countries in the ATF, as well as showing the uniqueness of each individual in the common community, aimed at the goal of prosperity and sustainability.
The forum features more than 20 major activities. Among them, the Ministerial Tourism Conference on January 17 and 18 and the ATF Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) from January 16 to 18 will be the highlights of ATF 2019. It is the second time that Vietnam has hosted the forum since its inception in 2009.
The successful hosting and organisation ATF 2019 will contribute to the effectiveness of ASEAN regional tourism cooperation, closely linking Vietnamese tourism to ASEAN. This is also an opportunity to enhance the position and image of Vietnam’s tourism, introducing highlights and typical tourism products of Vietnam in general and Quang Ninh in particular, especially sea resorts, MICE tourism and food tourism.