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International conference advances travel and tourism

Released at: 08:21, 06/12/2018

International conference advances travel and tourism

Photo: RMIT

Conference highlighted travel and tourism in boosting economic development.

by Hong Nhung

More than 50 research papers on advancing travel and tourism through cooperation in the Global South were presented during a recent three-day conference at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus.

Hosted by RMIT Vietnam’s School of Business & Management in cooperation with the Travel and Tourism Research Association - Asia Pacific Chapter (TTRA APAC), the conference saw participants from universities and organizations around the world, including Taiwan (China), Fiji, South Korea, the UK, the US, Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Scotland, Thailand, Turkey, China, Australia, and Vietnam. 

Associate Professor Mathews Nhkoma, Head of the School of Business & Management, highlighted the significance of the conference and its potential impact on the travel and tourism industry.

“We understand the importance of tourism and hospitality to Vietnam and to the Asia-Pacific region in general,” he said. “The industry contributes greatly to the region’s GDP and also serves as a great source of employment. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was $12 million, or 5.9 per cent of total GDP, in 2017, and is forecast to rise by 6.7 per cent this year. The sector directly supported more than 2.4 million jobs (4.6 per cent of total employment) and this is expected to rise to nearly 3 million jobs (4.9 per cent of total employment) by 2028.”

Participants explored issues that are relevant and critical to the growth of the industry, such as consumer behavior, sustainable tourism, sustainable growth, destination management, value co-creation, and others.

Mr. Tran Phu Cuong, Director General of the International Cooperation Department at the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, delivered the keynote address on development policies and future demand in Vietnam’s tourism sector.

He presented five policies that are being drafted by the government: the restructuring of the tourism sector, a development strategy, a development fund, the application of information technology in the tourism sector, and the enhancement of tourism promotion.

“The range of keynote speakers not only stimulated our thinking but also engaged us in hands-on workshop opportunities,” said Dr. Jeff Dalley, TTRA APAC President. “The conference showcased eleven paper presentation streams dedicated to work around the theme of cooperation and collaboration for the Global South, and extends the academic-end user nexus at the heart what TTRA represents.”

“The Asia Pacific Chapter of TTRA International received several bids to host our 2018 conference. The proposal received from RMIT Vietnam was outstanding and superior in all respects, and provided an opportunity for Chapter delegates to directly experience and engage with one of the most dynamic tourism destinations in our region.”

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