ASEAN Tourism Ministers agree to build ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 at ATF

Published on : Thursday, February 7, 2013

Agreeing to accelerate the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) towards building an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, ASEAN tourism leaders convened at this year’s ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Vientiane, Lao PDR from 18 – 24 January 2013. A more robust intra-ASEAN travel is seen to happen in the future.

The ATF is a cooperative regional effort to promote the South East Asian region as a single destination providing a valuable opportunity for policy makers, administrators, tourism officials, and tourism entrepreneurs to share their views, experiences, and lessons on tourism development.

With an overall theme of, ASEAN: Hand-in-Hand, Conquering Our Future, tourism leaders agreed to accelerate the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) towards building an ASEAN Economic Community by
2015, and identified new measures for expanding the contribution of tourism in ASEAN economies. The forum brought together over 1,800 delegates including tourism officials from ASEAN and its dialogue partners (China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Russia), buyers, sellers, and media representatives from around
the world.

The latest updates on the ATSP as reported during the ministerial meetings listed down the following key strategies: the timely implementation of the ASEAN connectivity work plan to spur seamless access within and beyond ASEAN; the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) to facilitate mobility of tourism professionals; the agenda on ensuring the quality of tourism through improved services, establishment of security and safety online resources, standardization, and workshops; implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy and “ASEAN for ASEAN activities”; and the development of an ASEAN Ecotourism Strategic Plan.

Phillipines Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. shared, “We are pleased to see member countries seriously working on the implementation of the various plans and agreements. The focus on marketing the
region as one destination demands a lot of internal work in order to stitch together a beautiful tapestry of diverse tourist attractions, culture, and history. It can be done as each country has been tasked to take the lead to fast track these various measures. The Philippines has started the initiatives on air connectivity, and we will play a major role in pushing the sustainability agenda.”

Source:- ASEAN tourism

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