14/09/2014 10:22 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

APEC tourism ministerial meeting opens in Macao

Beijing, September 13 (VNA) – The eighth tourism ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) opened in Macao, China, on September 13, with 152 delegates taking part.

Themed "Exploration of Asia Pacific Tourism Cooperation and Future Development", the event will discuss the integration of Asia-Pacific tourism markets, facilitation of tourism industry’s transformation and growth, promotion of intelligent tourism with modern technology and Asia Pacific travel interconnection, encouragement of low-carbon development and cooperation between tourism operators.

The World Tourism Organisation forecast that the travelling industry will help APEC economies grow by 4.6 percent by generating 40 million jobs. Last year, APEC recorded 365 million tourist arrivals and 3.6 trillion USD in revenue, or 8.5 percent of its gross domestic product.

Asia-Pacific is home to 21 out of the 30 busiest airports in the world. For past time, APEC has smoothed out visa handling procedures and offered quality tours to tourists, alongside other conveniences.

Executive Director of APEC Secretariat Alan Bollard, for his part, made it clear that it is the burgeoning middle class that fuels the fast growth of the tourism industry.

However, transport infrastructure fails to catch up with such trend, he said, and called for more ramp-up as soon as possible so that it will not be left behind.