APEC Meeting Reconfirms
Importance of Tourism
Focuses on Seoul declaration on APEC Tourism Chapter

Senior tourism officials from 21 APEC member countries held the 26th APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) Meeting May 15 through May 17 in Busan and reviewed the progress of the Seoul declaration of APEC tourism chapter ahead of the upcoming APEC Leaders'Meeting.
The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) TWG Meeting was held at the Paradise Hotel in Haeundae, Busan, on the heels of the 4th APEC Tourism Forum that was held May 12 through May 14 under the main theme of ?eviewing APEC Tourism, Preparing for the Future."Working-level officials in charge of tourism policies recognized the importance of tourism in the Asia-Pacific region during the 4th APEC Tourism Forum and the 26th APEC TWG Meeting, which were hosted by the Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT).
Kim Chan, director general of Tourism Bureau at the MCT, served as the lead shepherd of the 26th APEC TWG Meetings as Korea has been selected as the venue of the APEC Leaders' Meeting slated for Busan this upcoming November.
Korean Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Bae Jhong-shin delivered a welcoming speech during the opening ceremony for the 4th APEC Tourism Forum on May 13 in which he said Korea is willing to exert itself to ensure the development of the Asia and Pacific area as the host country of 2005 APEC Korea.
The 21 APEC member countries have made strenuous efforts to put into practice the Seoul declaration of APEC tourism chapter in the past five years since it was adopted, and these efforts have contributed to making tourism environment better, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Bae said.
"However, we need to focus on the progress of the APEC activities in a bid to correspond fast changing developments, and now is the time to develop a vision for the future,"he said.
The 4th APEC Tourism Forum, held under the theme "Reviewing APEC Tourism and Preparing for the Future,"can be viewed as an expression of a willingness to help tourism play a role in creating a common community in the future, he said.
MCT Director General Kim delivered a keynote speech during the Opening Session of the 4th APEC Tourism Forum on May 13, titled "Towards One Community: Meet the Challenge, Make the Change It's Tourism."Cho Sung-wook, executive director of overseas marketing and development at KNTO, and Bernhard Brender, general manager of Millennium Seoul Hilton, will speak about "Prospects for Cooperative Marketing in Asia and the Pacific and "How to Facilitate Private Sector Tourism,"respectively, during Session I: APEC: One Community, One Market in Tourism.
Prof. Suh Yong-kun, of Cheju National University, and John Koldowski, director of Strategic Intelligence Center at PATA, lectured on "E-Business Strategies for SMTEs in the APEC Region'and "Quality-based Tourism Marketing,"respectively, during Session II: Providing Better Tourism Goods and Services in the APEC Region.
Ian Kean, executive director of AICST, spoke about "Sustainable Tourism amongst APEC Tourism Economies"during Session III: Sustainable Tourism: Promise APEC's Future.
Lee Kyu-gun, general manager of Corporation Planning Unit at Samsung Everland, dealt with the topic "Tourism Development: Economic and Social Impacts"during Session IV: A Tool for Economic & Social Development.
A technical tour to Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla Dynasty, for the participants was arranged on May 15. Designated as one of the world's cultural heritage sites by UNESCO in 1995, Gyeongju is virtually as "Museum without walls"where visitors can discover the relics of Buddhist culture and artistic creative and scientific lifestyle of the Silla people.

The 26th APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) Meeting held May 15 through May 17 in Busan.

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