At a workshop held by the East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF), the Viet Nam National University's College of Social Sciences and Humanities' Tourism faculty director, Tran Thi Minh Hoa said that just 500,000 tourists had traveled to Quang Ninh Province in 2000.
In 2009, the figure had grown to 2.7 million tourists or 71.9 per cent of the country's visitors and the province was now one of four major tourism centres of Vietnam Travel, she said.
Quang Ninh was one of the country's four tourism centres and home to world-famous Halong Bay, twice recognised by UNESCO for its landscapes and geological values, said Hoa.
Philippine delegate Dr Milagros C. Espina of the University of San Jose Recoletos and a member of the Cebu City Tourism Commission addressed the forum on the War on Waste (WOW) programme designed to manage and protect natural resources.
Dr Espina emphasised that a destination with a well-protected environment would attract more tourists.
The success of the WOW programme would encourage other EATOF member countries to participate in similar activities to reduce the threat of climate change, he said.
Dr Espina said EATOF must have a strong and comprehensive policy to protect the environment while it also needed a programme to support countries or people affected by climate change.
The forum also discussed rural tourism in Indonesia; tourism education in Mongolia to match demographic change; a heightened role in local communities in developing sustainable tourism; the feasibility of combining education and tourism and underwater tourism.
The forum's Chartered Flight and Cruise Committee established to foster regional tourism through the strengthening of air and sea links between member countries also met on Sept.14.
It is also tasked with collating flight and cruise schedules.
Its 40 members are drawn from tourist, airline and transport company offices and State agencies.
World Tourism Organisation representative Garry Kingshott described the trend and prospects for low-cost transport in Asia, and how it could be used to support regional tourism.
Participants also discussed the promotion and advertising of chartered flights and cruises and committee regulations and operations.
The East Asia Inter-Regional Tourism Forum (EATOF)'s members are Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines, Mongolia and Vietnam.