New tourism plan set to promote Asean as a whole

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THE Asean Tourism Association (ASEANTA) is drafting another strategic plan for 2016-2025, aiming to raise the region’s presence in the global market and to increase intra-regional travel.

Aileen Clemente, president of ASEANTA, said the region’s tourism sector was preparing for the completion of activities under the Asean Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP 2010-2015) as well as the formulation of another 10-year ATSP for 2016-2025.

“In this regard, we are looking forward to the promotion of Asean as one region to the rest of the world,” she said.

Some of the highlights of the new ATSP are the need to implement the Asean Open Skies Agreement and make it easier to cross the region’s borders, as well as conducting good marketing campaigns for the region as a whole. ASEANTA counts as its members various tourism-related groups from all 10 Asean countries, including national tourism organisations, national travel-agency associations, national hotel and restaurant associations, and airlines.

Clemente said ASEANTA had recently worked with the Asean Business Club as its research partner. The resulting document highlights the need for harmonised border-crossing procedures, enabling the private sector to optimise product development, marketing Asean as one region and not just its individual countries, and alignment of standards for the mutual recognition of certification for tourism products and human resources.

“We held a meeting here in Thailand on Sunday composed of the relevant national associations from the 10 Asean countries to show our support to our Thai colleagues that we are still encouraging tourism despite what has happened,” she said.

Early this year, the tourism ministers of Asean nations and China, Japan and South Korea declared cooperation under the Asean+3 umbrella that aimed to enhance the tourism sector throughout the region.

International arrivals to Asean+3 in 2014 amounted to 241 million, up by 6.9 per cent from 2013. The ministers also noted that intra-region travel remained the main source of tourism growth, accounting for 66 per cent of the total international arrivals in 2013.

The ministers said the region would exchange ideas and tourism statistics from Asean+3 countries and also seek new methods for compiling statistics in order to have a better understanding of the development of tourism in the region.

Source: The Nation

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