Vietnam promotes open policy for international tourism at APEC Meeting

(TITC) – The 11th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting (TMM) took place in Bangkok, Thailand on 19th August with the participation of Tourism Ministers of the 21 economies of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and observers from international tourism organizations.

Mr. Doan Van Viet, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) led the Vietnamese delegation including Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), representatives of MOCST and VNAT’s departments and units attending the event.

The Meeting under the concept of “Regenerative Tourism” and with the theme “Open – Connect – Balance”, focusing on 4 main contents: (i) Digital transformation in tourism; (ii) Developing human resources; (iii) Facilitating travel and enhancing competitiveness; (iv) Sustainable tourism and economic growth.

During the TMM11, discussions on APEC’s cooperation guidelines to accelerate tourism revitalization in the post-COVID-19 era and the role of the tourism sector in promoting the well-being of the people in the region by focusing on and giving importance to accelerating the recovery of tourism, as well as the activities and initiatives including Vision Putrajaya 2040, Aotearoa Action Plan under the APEC Tourism Strategic Plan 2020-2024 were reported to the Meeting.

Speaking at the Meeting, MOCST’s Deputy Minister Doan Van Viet informed that from 15th March 2022, Vietnam has been fully reopening international tourism; restoring visa policy (unilateral visa exemption, bilateral visa, e-visa, visa-on-arrival) and entry and exit policy for international visitors as before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam tourism industry has implemented a number of in-point guidances to restart the tourism, such as: Orienting tourism businesses to innovate products and services; promoting campaign “Live fully in Vietnam” to attract international visitors; fostering digital transformation, digital technology application in tourism, identifying digital transformation as an important pillar for the development of the digital economy and the development of smart tourism, “touchless” and “seamless” tourism in Vietnam; proposing policies for backing-up tourism businesses and labourers until the end of 2023; training tourism human resources,…

As a result, for the first 7 months of 2022, Vietnam has welcomed over 954 thousand international visitor arrivals, aiming to welcome 5 million international arrivals in 2022; regarding domestic tourism, the industry has 71.8 million domestic visitor trips.

Deputy Minister Doan Van Viet called out for the strengthening in cooperation, sharing and updating in new regulations on immigration and safe tourism management among APEC member economies; encouraging flexible policies in using services within air carriers and travel service providers; hand-in-hand supporting spreading open-door policy for international tourism and igniting travel enthusiasts internationally.

According to the report of PSU, Vietnam is the only of 21 APEC economies to introduce no travel restrictions, no COVID-19 certification required, no COVID-19 testing required, no quarantine requirements. International organizations further encouraged APEC tourism leaders to focus on holistic approach strategies to develop and promote tourism by taking into account all potential impacts on the local environment, culture and lifestyle.

WTTC forecasted that in the next 10 years (2022-2032), the global travel and tourism industry will create 126 million new jobs and achieve an average growth rate of 5.8%, higher than the forecasted global economic growth of 2.7%. In which, the APEC region is forecasted to create 59 million new jobs and grow by 6.6%.

To attract tourists to the APEC region and recover global tourism swiftly, gender equality and women’s empowerment in tourism are the highlights. At the same time, focusing on preserving unique ecological diversity, respecting the richness and diversity of cultures and knowledge of local communities, community-based tourism businesses towards sustainable tourism, increasing digitalization and tourism investment…. and what belongs to locals should be ruled by the locals.

Further at the Meeting, the APEC Tourism Leaders adopted the “Future Tourism Policy Recommendations” and the “Updated APEC Guidelines for Entrants in the Tourism Business” to reflect the determination of all APEC economies on pursuing the strong, balanced, safe, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The meeting ended with the adoption of the Statement of the President of the 11th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting and the final decision on the 12th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting to be held in Peru in 2024.

                                                                                                                                        Tourism Information Technology Center/International Cooperation Department




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