APEC agree on promoting smart tourism, eco-friendly destinations
09/16/2014|8:09:06 PM|Channel News Asia

MACAU: Tourism ministers from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping have agreed to promote smart tourism and eco-friendly tourist destinations. The new initiatives are part of the “Macau Declaration”, signed in the gaming city, after four days of meetings.

800 million international visitors to the Pacific Rim region in 2025 – that was the lofty ambition set at the 8th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang officially opened the meeting, the first time China has played host. Vice Premier Wang recognised tourism as one of the fastest growing industries in the APEC region, and pledged China will continue to promote more investment in connectivity.

He said: "China will contribute more to integration by improving visa polices and transportation, such as launching more direct flights and encouraging more cities to adopt visa on arrival and visa exemption polices in the future."

According to official sources, visitors from APEC member economies made up to 70 pecent of inbound overseas tourists to China last year.

The “Macau Declaration” has been described by one delegate as capturing future trends and policies on tourism in the region. Easier visa facilitation, better connectivity, and smart tourism with modern technology, to improve tourist flow were discussed.

Alan Bollard, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, said: "We've heard some very interesting examples about the uses of smart technologies, that're now on offer in the region, and those cover before travel, during travel and after travel experiences."

A total of 152 attendees from APEC, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and the World Travel and Tourism Council attended the meeting.

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