The seventh ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) caucus kicked off in Siem Reap on Sunday to discuss cultural and environmental preservation and sustainable tourism.
PO Ram, AIPA secretary general, said the focus of the meeting is how ASEAN member states, through AIPA, can develop, regulate and mange the tourism industry sustainably.
“Tourism and its environmental and cultural impact have come to the attention of critics – and has become a pet topic for debate amongst our societies – at national and international forums,” Ram said.
“ASEAN has a rich diversity of attractions which contribute to economic growth regionally, yet we are aware of potential negative impacts of an uncontrolled tourism industry.”
Cheam Yeap, chairman of the Cambodian delegation, said this is an opportunity to share experiences and best practices.
“It is our obligation to protect and conserve cultural and natural treasures.”
The AIPA caucus is aimed at engendering cooperation between the 10 ASEAN member states. Sunday’s meet was attended by nine out of 10 members; the Philippines was absent.