OECD meeting focuses on green tourism in South Korea

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting in South Korea is focussing on green tourism in the country.

The 90th session of the OECD Tourism Committee and the OECD/APEC Tourism Working Group Forum opened on Monday in North Jeolla Province. Tourism experts from all over the world are attending the function. The meeting was co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and supervised by North Jeolla Province. The theme for the two day event was ‘sustainable and green’ tourism.

More than 150 representatives from 40 OECD and APEC member countries were present at the meeting. The meeting was also represented by members of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Local Development of the OECD.

Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Choe Kwang-shik, said, ‘I sincerely welcome you to Muju, which is home to the cleanest and most beautiful natural environment in the country. We are delighted to hold the OECD tourism committee meeting here at Muju where tradition harmonizes with the natural environment. The tourism industry is becoming more widely recognized as an important means to create jobs and invigorate the economy. Sustainable and green tourism is also becoming more important. The Korean government, with such a concept in mind, played a significant role in including tourism in the agenda for sustainable development at the Rio+20 Conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June this year. In such a way, we are striving to contribute to developing the global tourism industry.’

The meeting would see participants discussing the tourism industry’s success cases in developed countries.

One Billion Global Tourists Predicted For 2012

On a global scale more than one billion tourists will take a trip that crosses an international boundary during this year.

UN officials announced the figure for international travel to a meeting of tourism ministers in Mexico this week. Speaking to the tourism ministers from G20 countries, Taleb Rifai, head of the UN World Tourism Organisation, said, ‘We will have more than a billion tourists, that means one-seventh of humanity. This has never happened in history.’

While 980 million tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide in 2011, the figure is expected to rise by 3 to 4 percent, to finally deliver the landmark figure of one billion by the end of the year, according to figures from the World Tourism Organisation. In the first two months of this year, international tourism grew by 5.7 percent, to over 131 million, compared to 124 million recorded for the same period last year.

This week’s meeting in the resort town of Merida on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsular was the fourth Ministerial Meeting of Tourism (T20), and its agenda included a focus on combating barriers to the free movement of tourists around the world. Delegates attended it from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, United States, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, UK, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union.

Other contributors to the meeting included the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO).