Tourism Ministers from the APEC member economies are coordinating their policies in a bid to open new industry opportunities and visitor traffic across the Asia-Pacific.
Addressing changing conditions and new possibilities for micro and small business participation and employment in travel and tourism through digital technology use is at the top of the agenda for APEC Tourism Ministers convened in Port Moresby.
“There are new opportunities for growth and development but with these opportunities come challenges that we must acknowledge and manage,” explained Papua New Guinea Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister and Chair of the 10th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting Hon. Emil Tammur MP.
“The onus is on us, as a region, to recognize the need to develop approaches and utilize practices that are sustainable and inclusive to ensure growth in the travel and tourism industry,” Minister Tammur continued.
Tourism Ministers are considering ways to better position operators and the workforce in the APEC region to take advantage of rapid growth in international tourism flows and new consumer trends.
This includes the promotion of policies that facilitate business growth and the harnessing of increasingly accessible mobile technology, apps and big data to boost tourism product development, marketing, tourist services, training and entrepreneurship.
In parallel with this focus, Tourism Ministers are working out a new APEC guideline for industry stakeholders such as local service providers, hospitality businesses and sharing platforms. The aim is to encourage more uniform service and occupational standards, attract investment and raise visitor satisfaction.
Tourism Ministers are also examining strategies for tackling security issues to ensure safe and traveler-friendly destinations as well as adaption to climate change.
“We must develop policies and mechanisms that are responsive to current challenges and acknowledge and integrate the latest and most relevant tourism trends whilst enhancing innovation for the industry’s prosperity,” noted Minister Tammur.
“With the Asia-Pacific generating one of the highest contributions of travel and tourism to the world’s GDP, this further validates the significance of the industry in the global and regional context,” Minister Tammur concluded.
The APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting will conclude on Friday. It will be followed by an inspection of tourism businesses in Kavieng, New Ireland, an emerging island destination in northeast Papua New Guinea, on Saturday.
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