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Rural tourism contributes to the development and revitalization of rural communities. With the abundant natural and cultural resources in the Asia-Pacific region, there is great potential for APO members to explore and expand tourism in rural areas.
While the tourism sector has grown in the last decades, many rural communities are faced with a multitude of challenges in repositioning tourism in the rapidly changing environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization, and growing awareness of the need to preserve the natural environment and promote equality among people. To ensure that rural tourism does not have negative consequences, it must achieve sustainability from the economic, social, and environmental aspects.
The Ministry of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia; Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Region, and Transmigration of the Republic of Indonesia; and APO Secretariat collaborated to conduct a virtual workshop on Rural Tourism for Sustainable Development from 24 to 26 August. The workshop examined holistic, comprehensive frameworks to develop sustainable rural tourism across APO members.
Resource persons from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Spain shared global perspectives, policies, and best practices related to making rural tourism sustainable. Forty-six participants from 13 APO members attended and engaged in group discussions to share key learning points to solve context-specific challenges.