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NZ presents Tourism Charter to APEC

7 July 2000 Media Statement

NZ presents Tourism Charter to APEC

The Minister of Tourism Mark Burton has today presented a Tourism Charter to the APEC Tourism Ministers meeting in Seoul, Korea.

A Tourism Working Group developed the charter during New Zealand's year as Chair. It is to be adopted as the "Seoul Declaration on an APEC Tourism
Charter", to be used as a guiding principle for the development of tourism throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Mark Burton told his fellow ministers that it was appropriate to reflect on the size and importance of the tourism industry.

"More than 100 million jobs in the Asia Pacific region are dependent on tourism. There is over two trillion US dollars in travel and tourism related demand in the region, and that demand is forecast to exceed three trillion US dollars by 2010.

"Tourism is an economic powerhouse generating economic demand, employment opportunities, foreign exchange earnings, business opportunities for small medium and large enterprises, and it provides a vehicle for dispersing economic benefits.

"But tourism is more than an economic vehicle. It also provides us with significant social, cultural and environmental benefits and with opportunities to increase cross-cultural understanding."

Mark Burton told the meeting that it was incumbent on the APEC member governments to ensure the tourism industry was managed well.

"Otherwise we will find the growth foreshortened, and the benefits offset by serious problems such as environmental degradation and cultural loss.

"The spirit and intent that we are here to endorse is captured in the introductory paragraph of the “Seoul Declaration on an APEC Tourism Charter” To quote:

“This declaration… reflects a collective commitment to improve the economic, cultural, social and environmental well being of APEC member economies through tourism”.


Mark Burton asked the Ministers to endorse the four key policy goals of the Charter:
 to remove impediments to tourism business and development;
 to increase mobility of visitors and demand for tourism goods and services;
 to sustainably manage tourism outcomes and impacts; and
 enhance the recognition and understanding of tourism as a vehicle for economic and social development.

"These goals have been discussed extensively with the private sector and have received strong support," Mark Burton said. "Our challenge now is to continue to involve the private sector in a meaningful manner as we progress with the work programme under the Charter.

"The Charter outlines a process for APEC members to form individual and collective action plans, with monitoring and review processes built in.

"In New Zealand’s view, the open and transparent procedures for implementing the policy goals of the Charter are the key to ensuring its success.

"The “Seoul Declaration on an APEC Tourism Charter” is a forthright and forward-looking statement of ministerial purpose and intent," Mark Burton said.

ENDS

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