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Asean agreement reached on creation of ecotourism clusters

Jun 24. 2016
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HANOI - Tourism chiefs of the 10 Asean member countries approved a declaration manifesting their common desire to boost tourism growth and align regional ecotourism destinations during a roundtable in Champasak, Laos, on Wednesday as part of the first “As

The “Pakse Declaration on |a Road Map for Strategic Development of Ecotourism Clusters and Tourism Corridors” focuses on sketching a partnership plan in using natural resources sustainably, bringing economic benefits to people in rural areas, and developing a subregional ecotourism network.

The declaration will be submitted to leaders of the association at the Asean Summit in Vientiane in September.

The tourism chiefs asked Asean tourism agencies to collaborate in implementing the road map in coordination with Asean partners, including international organisations and Asean centres in China, Japan and South Korea, as well as the private sector.

They hailed Laos’ idea to hold the forum, which gives a chance to both the public and private sectors in Asean’s tourism industry to form a network and seek strategies for tourism development.

They underscored the importance of the connectivity between ecotourism destinations with roads and waterways, thus setting up ecotourism clusters and corridors throughout Asean members regardless of geographical and natural borders.

This will open up new economic prospects in areas along roads and sea routes, they affirmed, describing it as an important economic initiative for job creation and community development, which helps revive natural resources and bring changes to poor rural areas.

At the forum, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien proposed that Asean make full use of its online tourism portal to help people discover regional ecotourism.

She suggested that tourism working groups promote their role as coordinators to boost intra-bloc cooperation, thus realising the Pakse Declaration.

As an active country in Asean’s tourism partnership, Vietnam has paid much attention to ecotourism as well as responsible travel, which has been shown in its Tourism Law and relevant documents, she said.

The Vietnamese government has also issued a tourism strategy until 2020 with vision to 2030, focusing on developing sustainable tourism in line with preserving and promoting national cultural values and protecting the environment, she added.

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