On 8 June 2018, the Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-Korea Tourism Investment Seminar was held in Seoul, Korea. H.E. Mr. Lee Hyuk, Secretary General of AKC, H.E. Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah, Secretary -General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia, Mr. Keum Gi-hyung, Director General for Tourism Policy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea (MCST), and H.E. Mr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community of ASEAN Secretariat attended the ceremony and delivered speeches respectively. More than 100 representatives from ASEAN embassies in Korea, National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of Korea and ASEAN, and relevant international organizations attended the ceremony. H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) and H.E. Mr. Masataka Fujita, Secretary General of ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) were present.
S.G. Lee Hyuk delivered opening speech and expressed appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat, Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea, ACC and AJC for their strong support and assistance to the seminar. He said that the tourism industry has contributed 10.4% to the ASEAN’s GDP, making it a decisive factor in driving the ASEAN’s economic development. The tourism investment is an important driving force for the steady development of tourism. Korea and ASEAN are important partners and key forces to promote regional economic development. He hoped that the two sides would further promote tourism investment and tourism cooperation so as to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.
S.G. Rashidi introduced the development of tourism in Malaysia and the positive results of tourism cooperation between Malaysia and Korea, China and Japan. He said that ASEAN and Korea have rich natural and historical resources, enjoying favorable conditions for integrating the resources into tourism. This seminar is of great significance as it further promotes cooperation between ASEAN and Korea in the field of tourism investment and plays an active role in promoting the sustainable development of the tourism industry in East Asia.
Mr. Keum Gi-hyung introduced the situation of ASEAN-Korea tourism exchanges and cooperation in recent years. He said that in 2016, more than 6.4 million Korean tourists visited ASEAN and 2.5 million ASEAN tourists visited Korea. The two-way visits maintained steady growth. Tourism has become an important part of ASEAN-Korea relations. He hoped that the seminar could further expand and deepen ASEAN-Korea tourism investment and make new contributions to the social and economic development of both sides.
S.G. Aladdin expounded on the opportunities and challenges faced by ASEAN tourism development. He said that this timely seminar, in line with the trend of tourism development of Korea and ASEAN, meets the practical needs of deepening tourism cooperation between the two sides, and facilitates mutual understanding between tourism industries and broaden cooperation in tourism investment. He hoped that the governments and the private sectors from both sides could work together to expand investment in tourism infrastructure, provide a favorable policy environment and more powerful financial support for the development of the tourism industry, and promote the sustainable and stable development of the tourism industry.