25/02/2017 09:36 GMT+7 print

APEC looks to sustainable tourism amid climate change

Sieu unveiled this information in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondents on the sidelines of a workshop on sustainable tourism hosted by the Tourism Working Group (TWG) as part of the first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 1) in central Khanh Hoa province on February 23. 

He said the planned conference is expected to put forth recommendations to policies and commitments of the APEC member economies to realise sustainable tourism development goals set for 2017 by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). 

According to the official, the UNWTO said tourism is both the mastermind and victim of climate change. The tourism development causes many negative impacts on the environment and climate change as it contributes 5 percent to greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of travel vehicles and hospitality. 

Besides, the tourism industry is vulnerable and sensitive to the changes in nature and climate. Climate change affects the destination, tourism season and operating expenses, he stressed. 

APEC tourism is predicted to also bring negative effects to the environment and the global climate. Therefore, developing sustainable tourism is identified as an important target of the global tourism and the member economies of APEC, Sieu added. 

Vietnam’s tourism sector has actively built policies and action programmes, and taken many measures to deal with climate change, focusing on planning development investment and forecasting work, thus rolling out appropriate solutions to the situation. 

Vietnam’s master plan strategy on tourism development is considered as one of the country’s efforts to effectively cope with issues related to climate change and environmental pollution in tourism development, Sieu stated. 

The hosting of APEC Year 2017 will offer Vietnam a change to promote the country’s tourism potential to international friends, especially representatives from APEC member economies, he said. 

In 2015, the APEC member economies welcomed over 396 million visitors, accounting for 33 percent of total global tourist arrivals. Revenue from tourism activities was 59 billion USD, making up 44.5 percent of global tourism revenue. The tourism sector generated 47.9 million direct jobs. APEC Tourism Ministers have set target of welcoming 800 million international arrivals in 2025./.