Delegates at the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – Vietnam has promptly seized every opportunity to promote tourism as the country is hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Year 2017, said an official.

Tourism has been considered a key factor in selecting venues and agenda for the APEC Year 2017 events, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai said.

The dialogue and the Technical Workshop on Sustainable Tourism organised within the framework of the first APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 1) in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa in February, are among initiatives put forth by Vietnam to contribute to boosting tourism cooperation among APEC member economies while responding to the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development set by the United Nations, he stressed.

Tourism development will continue to be included in the upcoming APEC events, particularly in the framework of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in the central city of Da Nang in November.

The ten venues to host APEC Year 2017 events are those with renowned tourism attractions and cultural values across the nation, including Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Ninh Binh, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City.

The deputy minister noted that during the official APEC 2017 events, Vietnam has introduced the images of its people, landscapes, cultural values and high-end infrastructure facilities to participating international delegates.

Besides, the tourism sector has also organised numerous activities to boost interactions between APEC delegates and local communities such as free tours to popular destinations, offering souvenirs, photo exhibitions, among others, he added. 

Vietnam has regularly and actively participated in mostly all important activities of APEC tourism cooperation with APEC member economies. To date, Vietnam has exempted entry visa for nine member economies and implemented electronic visas for three other economies, creating favourable conditions for travelers.

In 2016, top ten source tourism markets of Vietnam are APEC member economies. Vietnam welcomed a record number of 10 million international visitors in the year, including over 8.1 million foreign tourists, or 81 percent from APEC economies, including China, Russia, Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea and the US.-VNA