Conference looks to develop tourism in ASEAN, central Vietnam hinh anh 1At the conference (Photo: VGP)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The first international conference on sustainable tourism development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the central region of Vietnam was recently held in Da Nang city.

Participants shared experience in and solutions to developing tourism such as increasing the involvement of the community in rural tourism development, promoting culinary tourism, creating knowledge-based tourism products, seeking sustainable financial measures for marine conservation sites, and developing human resources.

When it comes to travelling in central Vietnam, there’s much talk about the imperial city of Hue, My Son sanctuary and old trading port city of Hoi An. Undoubtedly, these UNESCO-accredited world heritage sites have long been must-see spots for tourists in the region. 

However, the central coast boasts a broader mix of attractions. Besides its numerous UNESCO accredited cultural heritage sites, pristine beaches and jaw dropping scenery make the central coastal localities, especially Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Binh Thuan, luxury sea-tourism centres that greatly contribute to the country’s overall appeal to travellers. 

The area has a coast line of 1,430 km, with most cities facing the ocean. These central coastal localities are developing eco-sea tourism, leisure tourism, and sea sport tourism, with scuba diving, parasailing and kayaking. 

The region is also very rich in inland natural resources, with green forests, imposing mountain ranges, amazing hot springs and a thick density of cultural and historical relics which are still waiting to be highlighted as tourism products. 

Founded in 1967, the 10-member ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The 2019 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) will be held in Vietnam’s northern province of Quang Ninh from January 14-19 under the theme “ASEAN: The Power of One”.

A wide range of activities will be held as part of the forum such as formal meetings between officials of ASEAN National Tourism Organisation (NTO) and meetings between ASEAN tourism ministers and their counterparts from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India.

Other events include association meetings involving ASEAN Tourism Association, Federation of ASEAN Travel Association, ASEAN Airlines Association, and ASEAN Hotel & Restaurant Association, exhibition and business appointments seeking to facilitate the trade of regional and individual tourism products of ASEAN member states, and a tourism conference.

The unique and specialised ATF Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) is expected to make it easier and more convenient for suppliers of ASEAN tourism products and services and international buyers to conduct business. 

Foreign arrivals to Vietnam surpassed 6.7 million in the five months this year, up 27.6 percent annually, according to the General Statistics Office.

The number of Asian tourists hit over 5 million in five months, up 33.3 percent while those from China was up 37 percent, the Republic of Korea (62.1 percent), Japan (6.6 percent), Malaysia (12.5 percent), Thailand (9.1 percent), Singapore (5.4 percent). 

Meanwhile, the number of European visitors rose by 11.8 percent year-on-year, including those from Russia (up 9.2 percent), France (13.1 percent), the UK (9.6 percent), Germany (8.5 percent), Italy (18.3 percent). Visitors from America and Oceania were up 13.8 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.-VNA