Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Choung Byoung-gug, Shao Qiwei, director of China’s National Tourism Administration, and Japanese Tourism Minister Akihiro Ohata adopted the “PyeongChang Joint Statement” at the sixth Trilateral Tourism Ministers’ Meeting at the Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province, on May 29 and 30.
The joint statement contains ways to boost tourism exchanges and cooperation, including agreements to create a joint crisis management manual to better respond to natural disasters, vitalize the tourism industry of each country and develop joint tourism package courses that link the three countries.
The joint statement also contains the long-term plan, “Tourism Vision 2020,” designed to enhance regional tourism exchanges, and an agreement to later sign the “Fair Tourism Initiative” on fair trade practices in the tourism industry.
While in Pyeongchang, both Japanese and Chinese ministers praised the advanced winter sports infrastructure of the city and expressed their support for Pyeongchang’s bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2018.
Director of China’s National Tourism Administration Shao Qiwei, in particular, expressed his hope that Korea can successfully compete with rival cities and Pyeongchang become a world-famous sports tourism destination through the international event.
The three ministers also agreed to set up a long-term plan to enhance tourism exchanges and to better respond to crisis situations like natural disasters, in light of the earthquake in Japan this March. They decided to develop a joint crisis management manual and share information to minimize the effects of crisis situations like natural disasters, terrorism and outbreaks of infectious diseases on the regional tourism industry.
|Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Choung Byoung-gug, Shao Qiwei, director of China’s National Tourism Administration, (right) and Japanese Tourism Minister Akihiro Ohata (left) after signing the joint statement|
Minister Choung expressed his hope that active exchanges and cooperation in regional tourism can lead Pyongyang to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Chinese representative Qiwei said the joint statement will become a fundamental framework for tourism cooperation. “Since both China and Japan will mark the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relationships, and Korea and China will mark the 20th anniversary of normalizing the diplomatic ties next year, the friendship and tourism exchange of the three countries will deepen and expand,” Qiwei was reported to have said in a Yonhap News article on May 29.
Japanese Tourism Minister Akihiro Ohata expressed his thanks for the warm support of Korea and China during the March earthquake. “Japanese people will do their utmost to recover from the disaster, and you will be able to see our recovery at next year’s meeting in northeastern Japan,” said Ohata.