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Tourism 4.0 is an innovative approach that integrates digital advances with sustainability principles. Key features of this new paradigm include the use of smart systems for efficient energy consumption, waste management, and water usage in tourist facilities. Additionally, big data analytics play a crucial role in enhancing tourism planning, management, and decision-making processes. The main goal is to aid rural economies and communities in their recovery and growth, fostering a more sustainable, inclusive tourism sector.
A conference on Tourism 4.0 for Rural Development was organized by the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Region, and Transmigration of the Republic of Indonesia (MVDDRT), and Ministry of Manpower of the Republic of Indonesia. The two-day conference, held 8–9 November in Jakarta, engaged 78 participants from 16 APO members through interactive group discussions, presentations, and panel discussions. Three local resource persons from Indonesia and four international ones from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, and Thailand covered smart rural tourism, linkages to the UN SDGs, and tools and techniques essential for implementing Tourism 4.0 strategies specifically in APO member economies.
In his closing speech, Secretary General and Senior Advisor of MVDDRT Dr. Samsul Widodo emphasized the importance of Tourism 4.0 and proposed several initiatives for future development, such as establishing an APO Tourism Village Network, conducting business forums for tourism village operators, and sharing knowledge and success stories. This APO conference opened up new avenues for exploring and implementing sustainable tourism practices that could significantly benefit rural communities across APO member economies.