The 11th East Asia Forum kicked off in Kyoto, Japan on August 21, focusing on greater tourism cooperation among member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Themed “Enhancing people to people connectivity”, the two-day forum also discusses the importance of tourism in the region, ways to promote people-to-people interactions as well as the exchanges of culture, workers, services and other production elements.

Participants, who are representatives from the governments and travel agencies of ASEAN member countries, China , Japan , and the Republic of Korea , will also exchange views on international cooperation in this field as well as sustainable development of the sector in Asia .

Addressing the opening of the forum, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shunichi Suzuki said that in spite of the convenience brought by the internet, personal experience in diverse cultures through travels to other countries is the most important and effective means of establishing mutual understanding and boosting trust.

Meanwhile, Myanmar Ambassador to Japan Khin Maung Tin stressed that for Asia to fully tap its tourism advantages and potential, which rely on natural and cultural heritage, better public infrastructure projects are required. He also said practical measures for travellers, including visa facilitation, the coordination between travel agencies and airline connectivity, are importance factors to develop this “non-smoke” industry.-VNA