Delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea (RoK), the Philippines, Mongolia and Vietnam discussed sustainable tourism development at a workshop in Ha Long city of the northern coastal Quang Ninh province on Sept. 14.

At the workshop held within the framework East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF), Asso. Prof. Tran Thi Minh Hoa from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities Tourism Faculty spoke of advantages for the development of sea, sports, cultural and ecological tourism models in Quang Ninh province.

Quang Ninh is one of the country’s four tourism centres and the home of world-famous Ha Long Bay, twice recognised by the UNESCO for its landscapes and geological values, said Hoa.

The delegates suggested Quang Ninh could zone off deluxe tourism areas, invest in clean energy, develop tourism products and engage in human resources training.

Meanwhile, Dr Milagros C. Espina from the San Jose University of the Philippines introduced a waste management and natural resources programme called Winning over Waste (WOW).

The success of WOW will encourage similar activities in EATOF and reduce the threat of climate change, he said, emphasising the necessity for the exchange of information among cultures on WOW and other initiatives.

EATOF must have a comprehensive policy on environmental protection from climate change and develop a programme for its members to assist one another, he said.

The workshop also heard speeches on rural tourism development in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province, tourism education in Mongolia, tourism under the ocean and a new change in adventurous tourism development in Sarawak in Malaysia .

A EATOF travel fair opened in Ha Long city on Sept. 14 as one of the forum’s first activities.

The two-day fair saw the participation of travel agencies from eight provinces, namely Cebu (the Philippines), Gangwon (RoK), Luang Prabang (Laos), Sarawak (Malaysia), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Tottori (Japan), Tuv (Mongolia) and Yogyakarta (Indonesia).

Vietnamese travel agencies from Hanoi, Quang Ninh and the northern port city of Hai Phong also introduced their tourism products at the event.

The second sea tourism and flight route committee was reestablished at a conference held by the EATOF organising board on Sept. 14./.