7 Items Agreed Upon at the 11th East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF).
The 11th East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF), which leads tourism in Asia with participation from the local governments, was held in Cebu, Philippines, for 3 days starting on September 14th under the theme of "10 New Years of Long-term Cooperation and Partnership."
There were some 300 participants at this year's EATOF, including local governors, associates of UNWTO, academia of local governments of Singapore and Hong Kong, and representatives in the tourism industry. Events included academic forums, conference of governors, meeting of the Standing Committee, and the travel mart.
At the conference of governors, there were selection of 7 joint declarations, which include:
① Taking joint actions against factors threatening tourism such as political and economical crises, natural disasters and infectious diseases
② Improving irrational tourism behaviors
③ Simplifying visa requirements and improving the relevant policies
④ Strengthening the exchange and cooperation projects of EATOF (student camps, exchanges and interaction among public officials)
⑤ Promote the operation of the Secretariat of EATOF
⑥ Reinforcing cooperation in the current projects of the registered local governments such as the 2018 Winter Olympics
At the conference of governments, Governor Choi Mun-sun suggested joint efforts in
① Stimulating the sports tourism in Asia with the successful hosting of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
② Taking action against factors threatening tourism such as political and economical crises, natural disasters and infectious diseases
③ Improving irrational tourism behaviors,
and his proposals were met with a great response from the national representative groups.
Some 200 members from the relevant academic fields and industry were at the Academic Forum, which was held on the first day, and various opinions were shared through the 3 sessions of tourism, trade and investment stimulation. On behalf of Gangwon-do, Ryu Deok-gi, an investment specialist, presented the "Cases of Attracting Investment for Bio, New Energy and Deep Water Industries" and Professor Jung Jae-hee from Hallym College made a presentation of the "Creation and Global Promotion of Joint Tourism Products with Incorporation of Major Tourist Products of Member Countries and Education (Language, Culture)," which were both received with a great response from the attendees.
Also, at the meeting of the Standing Committee (meeting of the actual operation group), specific matters for discussion included
① Exchange of tourism information
② Supporting stable operation of summer camps for college students, exchange among public officials and personnel exchanges (financial assistance of $5,000 for each program)
③ Expansion of cultural exchanges (dispatch festival performance groups)
④ Joint participation and marketing in international tourism exhibitions
⑤ Promote the projects of this year's traveling locations (financial assistance of $5,000)
⑥ Improve the human resources dispatch program of the Secretariat (expenses incurring during dispatch to be borne by the Secretariat of EATOF)
The major achievements of this year's EATOF include increasing the awareness of the importance of taking joint action against threats to tourism that have been occurring frequently recently, establishing a framework for cooperation, garnering support for the successful opening of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, improving the awareness of the importance of fostering the sports industry in Asia and institutionalizing the financial assistance system for joint projects of EATOF.
Gangwon-do plans to implement the details agreed upon at the Conference in Cebu with detailed plans established by the Secretariat of EATOF. It also plans assist EATOF become an international tourism organization by promoting exchanges and cooperation and proposing policy measures to enhance global tourism through the reinforced cooperation among the private sector and expansion of the registered member local governments.