Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi said here Saturday that the current social stability and rapid economic growth of China were creating a sound environment for the recovery of the tourism industry.
Wu spoke at a Special Meeting of ASEAN and China, Japan, and Republic of Korea (ROK) Tourism Ministers held in Beijing.
Tourism ministers and officials from ASEAN member countries and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea attended the meeting.
Wu said that many countries attached great importance to the development of tourism industry, which was playing a positive rolein promoting economic growth and social prosperity, enhancing understanding and friendship and safeguarding peace and development.
She said the tourism industry held an important position in thenational economies of ASEAN nations and China, Japan and Korea. She said the tourism industry in China had already become a new growth point for the national economy.
Wu said the Chinese government had adopted a series of policiesto combat the damage wrought by SARS, including tax-relief and financial support for tourism and other affected industries.
She said China would maintain the efforts to prevent and contain SARS to protect and ensure tourist safety, and guidelines had been formulated to restore the tourism industry.
Wu said international cooperation was necessary to get the tourism industry in the region back to fast and healthy growth.
As close neighbors and good friends, China, ASEAN, Japan and the ROK should share tourism resources and successful experience to promote mutual benefits and common development.
Wu also expressed the hope that various countries would take onthe important mission of revitalizing regional tourism and stimulating regional economic growth. She said China was ready to play a constructive role in developing the economy and revitalizing the tourism industry.
He Guangwei, head of China's National Tourism Administration, and Somphong Mongkhongvilay, minister to the Prime Minister's office of Laos, addressed the conference. They noted the significance of the special meeting to regional tourism revitalization, and expressed their optimism for results of the meeting.
During the one-day special meeting, 13 tourism ministers introduced revitalization measures of tourism industry of their countries, and reached a consensus on the way to enhance regional tourism cooperation.
The "Beijing Declaration on Revitalizing Tourism for ASEAN, China, Japan and ROK" was unanimously adopted at the conclusion ofthe meeting.