“Indonesia has encouraged Asian countries to cooperate in reviving the tourism sector to be secure, sound, strong, and sustainable through the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD),” director of inter-regional and intra-regional cooperation for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign Ministry, Andre Omer Siregar, said during the opening of the ACD tourism dialogue on Tuesday.
“A strong commitment from tourism stakeholders is needed to revive the sector which provides jobs to more than 100 million workers worldwide,” Siregar said.
The theme of the dialogue, initiated by the Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, was ‘Mitigating COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Tourism’.
The forum was aimed at building a spirit of cooperation and solidarity among countries joining the ACD, within the framework of reviving the tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Tourism was one of the areas of priority cooperation at the ACD forum. The sector contributed significantly to the economies of ACD member states in 2019, the ministry noted.
However, global tourism bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several ACD member states have formulated policies to revive their tourism sector, including relaxing restrictions on transboundary travels and offering incentives to tourism operators, the ministry observed.
At the dialogue, which brought together 25 tourism representatives from ACD member states, participants shared policies, innovations, and breakthroughs in tourism management and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The keynote speakers at the dialogue included representatives from Cambodia, Turkey, Indonesia, Nepal, Laos, and Bhutan. Asia and Pacific deputy regional director of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Harry Hwang, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert Mattias Heible also spoke at the forum.
The dialogue’s participants issued a number of recommendations on tourism sector recovery, including controlling travel bubbles among countries, applying standard health protocols worldwide, and strengthening sustainable practices and government support, both fiscal and non-fiscal, for the tourism industry.
The ACD forum agreed to study further concrete cooperation opportunities to sharpen innovation and digitalization, follow stringent health protocols, and carry out good governance and human resources development.
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