ASEAN looks to strengthen tourism ties with China, Japan and RoK
18:02 | 18/01/2019

VGP – Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien chaired the 18th ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Ministerial Meeting on January 18, which forms part of the ongoing 2019 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien (centre) poses with participants at the conference

In his opening remarks, Thien emphasized the significance of tourism cooperation between ASEAN and its three partner countries, namely China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

In 2018, the two-way exchange of tourists between ASEAN and China reached more than 50 million arrivals, including around 30 million Chinese arrivals to ASEAN countries (up 30% year on year) and approximately 22 million ASEAN arrivals to China (up 105% annually).

Japan and the RoK are also the two important tourism source markets of ASEAN. Last year, about three million arrivals of ASEAN tourists visited Japan, a year-on-year increase of 16%, and over five million arrivals of Japanese visitors chose ASEAN nations as their tourism destinations, up 5%.  Meanwhile, the RoK was a tourist destination for 2.5 million arrivals from the ASEAN region, and ASEAN countries welcomed eight million tourist arrivals from the RoK, up 25% from the previous year.

However, the attraction of tourists from the three partner nations to the ASEAN region still remains modest compared to the economic size and the number of tourists travelling abroad of these three countries.

The Vietnamese minister voiced his hopes that the 18th ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Ministers Meeting will offer a platform to discuss measures to boost the exchange of tourists between the two sides, while strengthening cooperation in the areas of mutual concern, thus bringing tourism cooperation between ASEAN and the three partner nations to new heights, and contributing to boosting cultural exchange and consolidating friendship, cooperation and prosperity of ASEAN as well as the three Northeast Asian countries.

At the conference, the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Hoang Anh Tuan informed the tourism-related results of the 21st ASEAN Plus Three Summit held in Singapore on November 15, 2018 and the ASEAN+1 Summits.

A Vietnamese representative reported on the situation of ASEAN+3 tourism cooperation since the 17th ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Ministers Meeting on January 26, 2018 in Chiang Mai, Thailand./.

 By Vien Nhu

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