Buyeo Declaration adopted at T.20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting

Ministers of tourism gathered for the second T.20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do, and concluded the three day meeting by jointly adopting the “Buyeo Declaration” on Wednesday, October 13.

The Buyeo Declaration made it clear that the tourism industry has a profound influence over the number of jobs, exports, and overall economy of nations, and can contribute to overcoming the global financial crisis while stimulating economic growth.

The declaration outlined four goals for the tourism industry: accelerating economic growth and prosperity, increasing employment, contributing to the world development agenda, and promoting sustainable development.

Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), revealed that there was a six percent increase in tourists worldwide during the first half of this year, and the Asia-Pacific and Middle East saw a growth rate of 14 percent. He added that the number of overseas tourists increased by three-fold over the past three decades, and tourism makes up 9.2 percent of the global GDP.

Member nations agreed to actively cooperate with international organizations such as the UNWTO, International Labor Organization (ILO), and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and establish a framework for assistance.

Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon pledged to emphasize this point to President Lee Myung-bak in meetings in November. President Lee will preside over the upcoming G20 Financial Summit in Seoul on Nov. 11-12.

“Just as the G20 Summit pursues shared economic growth among countries, the T.20 seeks to establish a basis for shared growth through tourism,” said Yu.

Members also agreed to hold the third T.20 meeting in France in 2011. France is also next in line to host a G20 Financial Summit, after the Seoul Summit next month.

Meanwhile, Korea concluded an MOU with Ghana and UNWTO to assist in installing direction boards in Ghana. The measure is expected to help boost tourism and fight poverty in the region, in line with the goals of the Buyeo Declaration.

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