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2004 APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting

Punta Arenas, Chile | 13 October 2004
Recognizing the growing importance of the tourism industry to all the economies in the Asia Pacific Region, we, APEC Ministers and their representatives for Tourism from Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; the People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Indonesia; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; the Republic of the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States and Viet Nam, met under the APEC Chile 2004 theme of "One Community, Our Future", in Punta Arenas, Chile, on 13-14 October 2004, under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Jorge Rodriguez, Minister Responsible for Tourism for Chile.
The meeting was also attended by the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat as well as by the distinguished observer from the Pacific Islands Forum, PIF.
We undertook valuable discussions during our Retreat Session on board the MN "Mare Australis", navigating through the southern Chilean channels located in Tierra del Fuego, as well as in a Plenary Session in Punta Arenas.
We adopted the following:
  1. The Tourism Charter established by APEC Tourism Ministers in Korea, in July 2000, provides a long-term vision for tourism across the APEC region. The Charter includes a comprehensive set of policy goals that guide the work of the APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) to enhance the economic, cultural, social and environmental well-being of APEC member economies, which are as follows:
    1. Remove impediments to tourism business and investment;
    2. Increase mobility of visitors and demand for tourism goods and services;
    3. Sustainable manage tourism outcomes and impacts; and
    4. Enhance recognition and understanding of tourism as a vehicle for economic and social development.
  2. We note the work of the TWG and their report on their achievements during the first four years of the Tourism Charter. In particular, we took note of:
    1. Fourteen projects completed across all four policy goals;
    2. Four best-practice case studies of particular importance to less developed economies on topics such as safety and security, development of tourism satellite accounts, e-commerce for SMEs, and the special needs of travellers with restricted physical ability; and
    3. The establishment of the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism (AICST), which provides technical support to complement the work of the TWG.
  3. To maximize progress towards implementing the Tourism Charter, we instruct the TWG to undertake a strategic review to ensure a work program that addresses challenges affecting tourism in the coming years, for consideration by the Ministers in 2006. Such challenges should include but not be limited to:
    1. Safety and security;
    2. Policy and regulation;
    3. Measuring sustainability;
    4. Classification and accreditation;
    5. Infrastructure and
    6. Niche product development, such as sports tourism, health tourism and others.
  4. We encourage all APEC member economies to continue work on Tourism Satellite Accounts to measure the precise value of tourism in their economies and underline the need to implement crisis management plans and to facilitate intra regional cooperation. We also encourage member economies to promote timely infrastructure development and information exchange within the APEC Region.
  5. We acknowledge that the theme of this Third APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting, "Exploring our Diversity", is very significant and important to the tourism development of the APEC member economies. The work of each and every policy goal is underpinned by the importance of strengthening cultural, environmental and economic sustainability. We recognize that member economies must continue to work in partnership with the private sector to address these issues.
  6. We recognize that collaboration and cooperation occurs within APEC as much as with external partners. To this end, we encourage the TWG to enhance ties with the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group; the Human Resources Development Working Group; the Health Task Force and the Counter Terrorism Task Force and other such fora that are of particular relevance to tourism, for increasing mobility and the safety and security of business people, tourists as well as response to crisis situations affecting the region. In addition, there should be closer ties with the APEC Women's Leaders' Network to foster the greater inclusion of women as travellers and tourism entrepreneurs.
  7. We welcome the results of the Third APEC Education Ministerial Meeting, whereupon ministers stressed the need for APEC member economies to foster capacities in language skills. As such, we recognize that English and other languages constitute important operational tools for business in the tourism industry.
  8. We underscore the importance of tourism to the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of Asia-Pacific. In addition to being a significant employer through its many small and medium enterprises, tourism is a key vehicle for promoting mutual understanding and respect for the natural environment throughout the region.
  9. We were pleased to have as guests at this Ministerial Meeting, representatives from the following organizations: 
    1. World Tourism Organization, WTO
    2. World Travel and Tourism Council, WTTC
    3. APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism, AICST
    We appreciate their contribution during the meeting and we look forward to further collaboration with these organizations, and others such as the Pacific Asia Travel Association, PATA. Involving other public and private sector experts broadens the basis of dialogue within the tourism forum.
  10. We acknowledge the contribution and the hospitality provided by the host Government of Chile; the Regional Government of Magallanes and the Chilean Antarctic, as well as the work undertaken by the APEC Tourism Working Group and the APEC Secretariat, for the success of this Ministerial Meeting.