An international conference on spiritual tourism for sustainable development opened in the Red River Delta province of Ninh Binh on November 21.
In her opening speech, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan affirmed Vietnam considers spiritual tourism a kind of cultural tourism and an important factor behind economic growth, as well as patriotism and national unity.
Vietnam always encourages and creates favourable conditions for international cooperation in tourism development and for the private sector to participate in developing the industry in general and spiritual tourism in particular as cultural belief is the core of spiritual tourism and a tool to link the souls of Vietnamese people and foreign friends, Doan said.
The theme of the conference is of significance in the context that religious differences and diversification are further respected and sustainable development is always a topic of global discussions, she said.
Spiritual tourism can only develop in a sustainable way if countries cooperate closely to support each other, Doan affirmed.
She also expressed her hope that the conference will discuss practical issues and reach important agreements.
During the two-day event, participants will listen to 20 speeches which highlight the importance of spiritual tourism and its development potential, especially in Asia-Pacific including Vietnam, and affirm that people-to-people exchanges through spiritual tourism will help strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding between different cultures.
The conference will issue the Ninh Binh Declaration on spiritual tourism for sustainable development.