SG Speech 2018-12-20
ASEAN-Korea Tourism Development Workshop
"Sustainable Tourism for Natural Heritage Destinations"
3 October 2018, International Convention Centre Jeju
by H.E. Lee Hyuk, Secretary General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre
(VIPs list will be added)
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am truly pleased to welcome you all to the opening ceremony of the 4th ASEAN-Korea Tourism Development Workshop in Jeju. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our ASEAN delegates, honored guests, speakers, and participants for being here with us today.
I also would like to thank UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) CIFAL (Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders) Jeju and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province for their valuable contribution in co-organizing the workshop.
Through the workshop, which has continued for 4 years, the ASEAN-Korea Centre has tried to discover the hidden jewels of ASEAN and to recognize the significance of heritage sites in the region in the previous programs. In this year, we would like to focus on the sustainable tourism for natural heritage destinations with strengthened partnership among ASEAN Member States and Korea to work toward the vision of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025.
2. Natural Heritage sites and ASEAN Heritage Parks in ASEAN
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Blessed with a wealth of unique and diverse natural assets, ASEAN has many natural heritage sites which attract tourists from all around the globe. The picturesque sites of the region are classified by the UNESCO as Natural Heritage sites as “irreplaceable source of life and inspiration,” with “universal value of nature conservation for future generations.”
As we are well aware of, there are 38 UNESCO World Heritages in ASEAN, including 13 Natural Heritages, which showcase magnificent biome and ecosystems. With its diverse, rich and unique natural resources, ASEAN has prioritized the protection and conservation of natural sites for decades. In addition to UNESCO Natural Heritage sites, ASEAN has shown cooperative effort to conserve and manage the natural heritages for the development and implementation of regional conservation and management plans. The ASEAN Heritage Parks operated by ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity serves as the Secretariat of the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme. Since the declaration on ASEAN Heritage Parks and Reserve in 1984, there are 38 ASEAN Heritage Parks designated with significance in biodiversity and uniqueness through a regional network of ASEAN member states
3. The Significance of Sustainable Tourism in Natural Heritage
A well-known world heritage can attract tourists from all over the world. Tourism development in those natural heritage sites can have important implications for their conservation. Such development can bring about economic benefits that support site conservation and the local and national economy. Especially for the local communities, it could bring out the most impacts by utilizing the sustainable value chain within the society. On the other hand, uncontrolled and poorly managed tourism can have severe consequences for the sites’ integrity. Therefore, it is essential for tourism in protected areas to be managed properly and uphold the principles of sustainable development which fulfill the wider-ranging UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem and halt biodiversity loss.
4. Case study of Korea: Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this regard, the ASEAN-Korea Centre co-organized today’s workshop with the UNITAR CIFAL Jeju and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province under the theme “Sustainable Tourism for Natural Heritage Destinations” here in Jeju.
Jeju Island is the sole UNESCO World Natural Heritage in Korea recognized by its natural significance which has successfully managed to attract increasing number of visitors every year, exceeding 4 million visitors in 2017. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes’ inscription as the Natural Heritage.
Therefore, we proudly present Jeju as the host city for the workshop this year to provide a unique opportunity to share experiences and practices of the Jeju World Heritage Center in particular. Knowing of how the Center have shared the value and knowledge of natural heritage as well as the importance of preservation can motivate us to develop clear perspectives of effective tourism operations in natural heritage sites.
5. INTRODUCTION TO TODAY’S WORKSHOP
Today, we have invited our distinguished delegates both from public and private sector to foster a better coordination among tourism development stakeholders. I strongly believe the participation of diverse stakeholders will promote partnerships to ensure continuous and sustainable tourism in natural heritage destinations. Contributed by the workshop, I hope each ASEAN delegates to build fundamentals for the development and management of natural heritage destinations in consideration of their own context of each area while assuring long-term and sustainable tourism in the region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me once again welcome you for attending the workshop today. The workshop is just a part of Centre’s unceasing effort to ensure sustainable and responsible tourism in ASEAN and to encourage greater coordination and exchanges of information and practical experiences among the member countries. In addition, I hope the workshop to provide a venue for delegates to learn not only from Korea but from each country hence to provide interactive learning experiences that will transform tourism and strengthen cooperation and forge a sustainable partnership between ASEAN and Korea.
I wish you all a productive and fruitful time today. Thank you.