The session 1 discussion in the framework of the forum (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Over 200 delegates from 27 member cities of the Tourism Promotion Organization for Asian-Pacific Cities (TPO) gathered in Ho Chi Minh City for the 8th TPO forum themed “Smart tourism” which opened on June 21.
 
The event focused on solutions to improve tourism development capacity of TPO member cities. It also aims to help delegates develop initiatives and new strategies to promote the tourism sector’s development amidst the fourth industrial revolution. 

In his opening speech, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem expressed the city’s honour of hosting the event.

The number of foreign tourists visiting HCM City in recent years has accounted for 50 percent of those arriving in Vietnam, contributing 30 percent to the country’s tourism turnover and 10 percent of the city’s GRDP, he revealed.

Asia Pacific is considered a key market for the city’s tourism sector as the number of visitors from the region visiting HCM City always remains stable among the top markets, he noted.

The forum will help TPO member cities access solutions to applying IT and communication in tourism activities – which is an inevitable trend in the era of digital technology, and learn from experience of each other in building new orientations and models in tourism management well as in fine-tuning the quality of tourism services, thus improving their destinations’ competitiveness.

Shin Yeon-Sung, TPO Secretary General said with advantages in terms of geographical location, history, and friendly and hospitable residents, HCM City has been making strides forward in tourism development.

He expressed his belief that the event creates a good chance for participants to jointly discuss and share experience in how to further push tourism development in the region, especially smart tourism through applying IT.

Participant pointed out the fact that the world is entering the 4.0 industrial revolution, with strong impacts on the fields of economy, culture, society, health and education and tourism as well.

Perry Hobson from Taylor University of Malaysia said thanks to technology, the development of smart tourism helps visitors access easily tourism services by smart phones connected to Internet.

TPO is an international organisation established in 2002 at the 5th Asian-Pacific City Summit. TPO was designed to be an inter-city network to promote the exchanges and development of the tourism industry among major cities in the Asia Pacific region. 

HCM City is a co-founder and member of the Executive Board. Currently, the organisation consists of 86 cities, and 45 travel agencies and institutes and other tourism organisations from 10 Asia-Pacific countries and territories.

The TPO forum is held every two years.-VNA