To support growth in the region through travel and tourism, the APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) was formed in 1991 as a platform for tourism administrators of APEC economies, to share information, exchange views and develop areas of cooperation in tourism trade and policies.

The TWG’s objective is to foster economic development in the Asia-Pacific region through sustainable tourism. In doing so, the TWG recognizes that tourism is one of the region’s fastest growing industries and, therefore, is of significant importance to the economic development of APEC economies. Tourism also helps foster regional understanding and cooperation and, while tourism industries in member economies are at different levels of development, these economies share the common goal of quality development and improved services.

In June 2018, Tourism Ministers from APEC member economies met in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, under the theme, Harnessing Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism in the Digital Age for the Asia-Pacific.”

In the meeting, ministers acknowledged the economic significance of travel and tourism which in 2017 contributed 3.8 per cent to GDP, created 2.9 million jobs and generated over USD 8 billion worth of investment in the region. 

Ministers likewise acknowledged the opportunities presented by technology and encouraged economies to share best practices on the modernization of tourism policy and regulatory approaches. Economies were also urged to develop inclusive policies that will consider technological advancement while ensuring sustainable growth.

The TWG continues to work toward its shared target of 800 million international tourists by 2025. In 2018, TWG focused on promoting better understanding of tourism as an engine for economic growth; sustainable and inclusive growth; promoting labor, skills development and certification; and promoting competitiveness and policy alignment.

The TWG will pursue partnerships with relevant tourism stakeholders to progress its work in the coming years.

Last page update: November 2018

Current Activities

APEC Workshop on Volun-Tourism Best Practices: Promoting Inclusive Community-Based Sustainable Tourism Initiatives

Volunteer tourism (volun-tourism) is one of the fastest growing trends in travel today with more than two billion US dollars generated each year and more than 1.6 million volunteer tourists travelling the world to improve disadvantaged local communities, while exploring and enjoying the natural surroundings.

A workshop was held on the significant positive impact of volun-tourism on communities within the APEC region, including lifting the standard of living for local rural communities and by elevating the involvement of indigenous/local peoples in it by creating economic opportunities. This project also aims to build better cooperation between APEC economies by addressing impediments to people-to-people connectivity and by charting a way forward collectively to make this fast-growing trend more sustainable and inclusive.

The TWG also produced the Voluntourism Best Practices in the Asia-Pacific Region a guidebook to help readers “harness opportunities that voluntourism can bring to communities as a force for good while mitigating unintended negative impacts.”

APEC State of Tourism Report  

The APEC State of Tourism Report contains key tourism statistics and identifies opportunities to drive growth that could contribute to the TWG’s aspirational target of 800 million international tourists across APEC economies by 2025.  

The report is updated annually. 

APEC Guidelines for Tourism Stakeholders

Tourism Ministers endorsed the APEC Guidelines for Tourism Stakeholders at the 10th Tourism Ministerial Meeting in June 2018. The voluntary guidelines are founded on the values of sustainability, inclusivity, respect, responsibility, openness, innovation and partnership of their respective tourism sectors. Economies are encouraged to use the guidelines to improve cooperation and coordination mechanisms to optimize the benefits of tourism within and across all economies.

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Sustainable Development of Tourism Destinations


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Ms Alcinda TRAWEN

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Ms Joyce MARISON Camacho

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