On 16th May 2020, in the framework of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2020, the 19th Tourism Ministers of ASEAN + 3 (China, Korea, Japan) took place in the capital city Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei Darussalam), co-chaired by the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism of the host country Dato Ali Apong and Japanese Deputy Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Wada Masamune. The Vietnamese delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Quang Tung.
To open the Meeting, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Aladdin D. Rillo informed the tourism-related results and contents at recent regional events such as the 35th ASEAN Summit, ASEAN-Korea Summit and a number of ASEAN Ministers' meetings on related fields ... In which, the Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN emphasized that Viet Nam is actively preparing for ASEAN President Year 2020, and on this occasion, Deputy Minister Le Quang Tung - Head of Viet Nam delegation introduced at the Meeting the logo and slogan of ASEAN 2020, affirmed that Viet Nam would like to continue further promoting results of cooperation between ASEAN and partner countries, including China, Korea and Japan in the near future.
In the next item of the Agenda, Head of Viet Nam delegation and the Ministers / Heads of delegations of ASEAN countries and partner countries exchanged many important issues related to ASEAN + 3 tourism cooperation.
Regarding tourist exchange, the Ministers were pleased to see that the number of international tourists visiting the ASEAN + 3 region in 2019 reached 244.6 million, up 5.8% over the same period last year. In particular, Viet Nam Tourism has achieved impressive results in terms of tourist growth (16.2%) and the total number of international tourists (18 million).
In the next agenda of the Meeting, Head of Viet Nam delegation and the Ministers reviewed the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Cooperation Plan on Tourism between ASEAN and the three partner countries on the period 2018-2020 aiming to enhance ASEAN + 3 tourism cooperation, confirming the role and contributions of ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-Japan Centers in further strengthening cooperation between ASEAN and 3 partner countries with specific activities, requiring the National Tourism Organizations to soon develop and complete the new Cooperation Plan for the 2021-2025 period, which is expected to be approved at the 20thASEAN+3 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting, which will be organized within the framework of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2021 in January 2021 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
On the sideline of the Meeting, Deputy Minister Le Quang Tung had a bilateral meeting with Deputy Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan to exchange and update related results on bilateral tourism cooperation, emphasizing the results of two-way tourist exchanges reaching 1.5 million tourist arrivals in 2019 as agreed previously, striving to reach 2 million arrivals in 2020, affirming that Viet Nam continues its unilateral visa exemption policy for Japanese citizens and tourists until 2022 and creates favorable travel conditions to support Japanese tourists coming to Viet Nam. In particular, the two sides were pleased and highly appreciated the results and successes in the series of Viet Nam - Japan seminars, economic forum, events on labor and tourism held from 11-14 January 2020 in Da Nang city, attracting nearly 800 delegates from both countries, took place within the framework of an official visit to Viet Nam by Mr. Nikai Toshihiro, General Secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, Chairman of the Japan-Viet Nam Parliamentary Friendship Union.
In the near future, the two sides look forward to further strengthening bilateral cooperation in the fields of advertising, tourism promotion, destination introduction, enhancing air connectivity, creating favorable conditions and visa facilitation, applying science, technology in tourism development activities, promoting cooperation between businesses of the two countries in developing smart tourism and digital transformation in tourism.
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