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2010 APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting

Nara, Japan | 21 - 22 September 2010

1. We, the APEC Tourism Ministers from Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Republic of the Philippines; Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America and Viet Nam, met in our 6th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting (TMM) in Nara, Japan on 22-23 September 2010. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Sumio Mabuchi, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. Also present at the meeting was the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat.
2. We gather under the theme of APEC Japan 2010, "Change and Action", knowing that during this period of significant change in the global political and economic order, tourism will continue to play an important and relevant role in the Asia-Pacific region.
3. We support the theme of the TMM, "Tourism for New Strategic Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region", by recognizing the economic importance of tourism, including the creation of jobs, reduction of poverty and conservation of the environment. In this regard, we encourage our leaders to include in their declaration in Yokohama a statement on the significant contribution that tourism can make in the economic development and growth of the Asia-Pacific region.
4. In addition, the year 2010 marks an important milestone for APEC, as it is the target year for the industrialized economies to achieve the Bogor Goals. The progress toward achievement of the Bogor Goals should be assessed. We should also continue to work toward refining the APEC Growth Strategy which aims to achieve economic growth that is balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure.
5. Under these circumstances, the TMM was held in the spirit of cooperation, friendship, solidarity and mutual understanding. We are determined to continue to strengthen balanced and sustainable growth of travel and tourism industries so that this sector is able to contribute to regional development and tourism cooperation in the region.
6. We recognize that it is necessary for the Tourism Working Group (TWG) to implement specific strategic measures to address: (1) raising the recognition of the significance of tourism and the role it plays as an economic engine in the Asia-Pacific region and in the wider APEC forum as a whole, (2) influencing other APEC fora and policy makers to address issues that affect tourism, and (3) promoting the sustainable management of tourism businesses and destinations.
7. To this end, we urge the TWG to finalize the APEC Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) for adoption at the April 2011 38th TWG Meeting, as this will provide a framework for achieving tourism growth and prosperity in the APEC region.
8. We acknowledge with appreciation the completion of the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE) 2010 Independent Assessment of the TWG. We call on the SCE to consider the recommendations therein and to recognize the range of tourism-related issues beyond the purview of the TWG.
9. We encourage the TWG to take stock of the findings in said report as vital inputs while moving forward from the Seoul Declaration on the APEC Tourism Charter adopted at the first TMM in 2000 to produce a dynamic Strategic Plan.
10. We recognize that the APEC tourism projects established and implemented by the member economies are important for the promotion of tourism cooperation, capacity building and information sharing. We encourage more economies to propose and support new projects. We also encourage a review of relevant past projects to guide the TWG in its future planning, such as the APEC Action Plan on the Prevention and Response to Avian and Influenza Pandemics.
11. We understand the importance of collaboration between the TWG and other related APEC working groups and fora for the purpose of building and strengthening effective, mutually cooperative relationships to achieve the major APEC goals.
12. We recognize the importance of collaboration between the TWG and related private sector and other international bodies. We support the TWG's commitment to engage the private sector representatives, such as the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), more substantively in our activities and to assist in the work plan development. We also support the TWG's intention to better coordinate its strategic plans with other multilateral and regional organizations, such as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
13. In relation to the APEC Growth Strategy, which is one of the priorities of APEC Japan 2010, we reiterate the significance of tourism for growth in the Asia-Pacific region and stress that it is essential to continue to develop a tourism-friendly business environment in the region, as well as in individual member economies, to accelerate economic recovery.
14. We reaffirm the importance of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) as an effective international comparative tool for measuring the contribution of travel and tourism to economic growth. We encourage the implementation of a TSA by each member economy in order to coordinate the tourism index in the entire region and assist information sharing among the economies.
15. We believe that tourism could maximize and protect its assets (including natural, cultural, and heritage assets) through encouraging tourism flows more evenly, to provide more stable employment, and to contribute to economic growth in the region. This approach could enable tourism to grow in a sustainable, balanced and inclusive manner.
16. While advocating an "inbound tourism strategy", a universal tourism theme with a great economic impact, we encourage member economies to further promote tourism by sharing relevant information and best practice, and by exploring opportunities for collaboration within the region. In this context, we stress the importance of tourism offices and organizations, both in the public and private sectors, of member economies and promoting collaboration between them.
17. We confirm that we will strive to exchange information and best practice on efforts to expand new and emerging types of tourism, such as medical and wellness tourism, religious events tourism, sports tourism, cruise tourism, ecotourism, and MICE (Meetings, Incentive travel, Conventions and Exhibitions/Events). These avenues could stimulate new demand and tourism-related investment across the Asia-Pacific region.
18. We support the productive collaboration between APEC fora, such as the ecotourism project led by the Group on Services (GOS) and its co-hosting of the ecotourism conference with the TWG. In this regard we note the ongoing contribution of APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism (AICST) in providing specialist research capacity to the TWG on sustainability issues and invite member economies to propose new projects.
19. We welcome the gracious invitation of the Russian Federation to host the 7th TMM in 2012.
20. We express our gratitude for the participation of guests such as AICST, PATA and WTTC in the 6th TMM and embrace further cooperation with them in the future. We also deeply appreciate the effort and contribution of the APEC Secretariat and the Lead Shepherd for the success of the meeting. We heartily thank Japan as the host economy for the fruitful and productive Working Group and Ministerial Meetings.