The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism Forum 2024 (ATF) kicked off in Vientiane, Laos on January 24.
Themed “Quality and Responsible Tourism Sustaining ASEAN Future”, the forum aims to strengthen collaboration in further improving ASEAN tourism products to attract more international tourists.
Lao Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaikhamphithoun, Secretary-General of ASEAN Kao Kim Hourn, tourism ministers from ASEAN countries, ambassadors of ASEAN countries to Laos and dialogue partners attended the event. The Vietnamese delegation to the event was headed by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaikhamphithoun emphaised that the tourism sector plays a crucial role in driving the ASEAN economy towards rapid, robust, inclusive, and sustainable growth. He affirmed that advancing ASEAN tourism in line with the ASEAN Vision 2025 will actively contribute to the socio-economic development and improve the quality of life for people across the ASEAN region.
He said Laos is ready to cooperate with ASEAN countries and various dialogue partners to develop sustainable and high-quality tourism destinations, attract more tourists to the bloc.
Meanwhile, Secretary-General of ASEAN Kao Kim Hourn emphasised the importance of ASEAN in developing the bloc’s tourism industry and stressed that sustainable tourism development is important in preserving the environment, local culture and heritage as well as promoting economic growth in the region.
The ATF 2024 is taking place amidst the ongoing recovery of the tourism industry in ASEAN country, the Asia-Pacific region, and the international arena, which is gradually rebounding from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is the largest annual event held alternately among the 10 ASEAN countries, creating a space for cooperation to promote this region to become an attractive tourist destination globally.Source: Vietnam Plus