06 Mar 07 - Promoting e-tourism for development in Asia-Pacific
UNCTAD is organizing its first e-tourism conference in the Asia-Pacific region on 13 and 14 March. The objective of the conference is to promote e-tourism as a tool for economic development and poverty reduction and to search for partners at the international, subregional and national level.
The e-Tourism Initiative, a programme set up by UNCTAD in 2004, is organizing the "Asia-Pacific: e-Tourism for Growth - Matching Market Efficiency and Social Inclusion" conference on 13 and 14 March in Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Malaysia.
Tourism is the world's largest export service and is of strategic importance for many developing countries, providing opportunities for entrepreneurship and sustainable economic diversification. ICTs have revolutionized this sector, changing the nature of the relationship between visitors, suppliers and partners while creating new economic opportunities in the process.
E-tourism integrates these two economic driving forces - ICTs and tourism - and can enhance tourism growth and the empowerment of local stakeholders. The e-Tourism Initiative aims at helping developing countries increase their revenues from tourism and make these revenues more sustainable by strengthening local capacity through efficient networking and competitive marketing.
The two-day conference will be held within the framework of the implementation of the World Summit on Information Society - WSIS outcome on ICT for economic development. It will focus on the benefits created by innovation and capacity development in e-tourism. Also, emphasis will be placed on the use of ICT for branding, knowledge management and promotion of responsible (ecological) tourism. It will include interactive thematic workshops on the first day and high-level panels on the second day, along with opportunities for networking at social events. Current and future trends, challenges and success stories will be shared with the participants. Guest speakers will include Ministers of Tourism and representatives of international organizations, national tourism organizations, universities and NGOs, as well as senior managers from the private sector.
The conference will be attended by people from the 59 countries / territories of the Asia-Pacific region, including representatives from Ministries for Tourism and for Information Technologies, national tourism boards, hotel associations, tour operators, hotels, service providers, telecommunication companies, transport and insurance companies and financial institutions.