1. The Fifteenth Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (15th M-ATM) was held on 11 January 2012 in Manado, Indonesia in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012 (ATF 2012). The Meeting was preceded by the Thirty-Fifth Meeting of ASEAN National Organisations (NTOs) and other ASEAN NTOs meetings with Dialogue Partners. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, with H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Lao PDR, as Vice Chairman.
2. Based on the preliminary figure, the Ministers were pleased to acknowledge the significant growth of international visitor arrivals into ASEAN in 2011. ASEAN attracted more than 79 million visitors last year, posting a healthy 7.4 per cent growth. Intra-ASEAN travel maintained its position as the major share of tourists, making up 43 per cent of total international arrivals. Progressing the ASEAN Tourism Integration
3. The Ministers were pleased to note the progress achieved in the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015, where all ASEAN tourism working groups and committees had identified the detailed measures for the implementation of the ATSP 2011-2015 and lead coordinators of the measures. In further supporting the implementation of ATSP, the Ministers agreed to welcome the minimum annual contribution to the ASEAN NTOs Fund and, at the same time, to increase Member States’ addition in-kind contributions to support the implementation of ASEAN tourism initiatives. Enhanced ASEAN Connectivity
4. The Ministers acknowledged the advancement of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) measures that would bring about complementary progress in various sectors in ASEAN, mainly tourism, transportation and telecommunication. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to continue their support and facilitate the process of developing ASEAN Connectivity.
5. The Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services (MAFLPAS) and its Protocols. The MAFLPAS would further facilitate and enhance air services connectivity within the region, and thus support the development of tourism in the region. With the current state of ASEAN Open Skies, designated airlines of a Member State could provide international air services with full third (3rd), fourth (4th), and fifth (5th) freedom traffic rights within the region.
6. The Ministers were also pleased to note the entry into force of the ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement and its Protocol 1, as it would significantly enhance air accessibility between ASEAN Member States and China, a major source market for ASEAN tourism .
7. The Ministers were pleased to note ASEAN Member States’ commitment to continue and accelerate the easing of visa requirements for ASEAN nationals through the full implementation of the 2006 ASEAN Framework Agreement for Visa Exemption, which was reaffirmed by the ASEAN Leaders at the 19th ASEAN Summit. The Ministers also welcomed the initiative to develop an ASEAN common visa for non-ASEAN nationals in the future that would contribute to the ASEAN Community building process, as well as to ASEAN’s greater integration and contribution to the global community. The Ministers pledged their strong support for this initiative, and tasked their senior officials to actively take part in the conduct of the comprehensive study that will accelerate the necessary time line towards the establishment of an ASEAN common visa for submission to the 23rd ASEAN Summit. Improving Human Resources Capacity in Tourism.
8. The Ministers were pleased with the progress achieved by ASEAN Member States in establishing the necessary requirements under the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Tourism Professionals such as Tourism Professional Certification Board (TPCB) and National Tourism Professional Board (NTPB), including the convening of Workshop on the Achievement of ASEAN Member States in Implementing MRA on Tourism Professionals held in 14-15 June 2011 in Palembang, Indonesia. The Ministers emphasised the importance to support the implementation of MRA and supported the regular convening of regional gathering to enhance its awareness by relevant stakeholders.
9. In further developing regional infrastructure to support the implementation of MRA, the Ministers welcomed the conduct of following projects to further enhance preparation of ASEAN Member States in implementing the MRA Work Plan funded by the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme (AADCP) Phase II: (a) Toolbox Development for Priority Tourism Labour Division; (b) Training of ASEAN Master Trainers and Master Assessors for Housekeeping Division. (c) Toolbox Development for Front Office, Food and Beverage Services, and Food Production. (d) Gap Analysis on Implementation of MRA on Tourism Professional. (e) Feasibility Study for the Establishment of Regional Secretariat for ASEAN Tourism Professionals.
10. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Government of Australia for the technical assistance provided in implementing the above projects through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme (AADCP).
11. The Ministers noted the outcomes of the ASEAN Tourist Guide Contest 2011 held on 24-28 September 2011 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and encouraged the Southeast Asia Tourist Guides Association to sustain the convening of this competition in the future.
12. The Ministers noted the convening of the “ASEAN Workshop on Cultural Heritage Tourism” held on 28 September-2 October 2011 in Bandung, Indonesia; and the Workshop on Cultural Heritage Tourism held on 17-19 June 2010 in Solo, Indonesia as part of the activities of ASEAN Tourism Resource Management and Development Network of Heritage. Ensuring Quality of Tourism Services.
13. The Ministers welcomed the presentation of the ASEAN Green Hotel Award held on 11 January 2012 in Manado to provide recognition to hotels in respective ASEAN Member States that have fulfilled the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards. In further improving the quality of hotels in the region, the Ministers noted the progress of the development of comprehensive ASEAN Green Hotel Standards, including the finalisation of criteria and requirements and the activities to identify its performance indicators and certification process. The Ministers were pleased to note the finalisation of criteria and requirement including the Work Plans for development of ASEAN Homestay and Spa Standards.
14. The Ministers supported the development of ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard that would create a tool to improve the quality of tourism in main destinations, to increase marketing competitiveness, to improve participation of local residents and their livelihood by alleviating poverty including to protect the environment thus responding to the impacts of climate change and contributing to ASEAN tourism sustainable development.
15. The Ministers noted the development of an ASEAN Tourism Security and Safety Guidelines that focus on hotel and resort facilities. The guidelines would equip the ASEAN tourism sector in its endeavor to create and maintain a secure and safe environment as a basis for sustainable tourism development. ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy.
16. The Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy 2012-2015 developed based on the implementation of the Visit ASEAN Campaign and previous ASEAN tourism marketing activities. This strategy is designed to support and build a worldwide recognition of ASEAN as a tourism destination, in part by coordinating and leveraging the power and influence of the ASEAN NTOs. Through this Strategy, individual Member States would be responsible to develop products and attractions by creating packages, circuits and clusters using the product and experience development efforts of the individual Member States. The outcomes of this exercise are expected to strengthen and renew activities of the Visit ASEAN Campaign activities in line with the ASEAN Tourism Agreement signed by the ASEAN Leaders in 2002.
17. The Ministers supported the establishment of the ASEAN Tourism Market Research Group (ATMRG) that would carry out analysis of marketing trends, situation and future of ASEAN tourism. The result of this exercise would also utilise as reference in carrying out the ASEAN joint marketing activities in the future.
18. The Ministers noted the convening of ASEAN Golf Tourism Forum held on 2-5 November 2011 in Pattaya, Thailand. As a collaborative effort to promote and market golfing attractions in ASEAN Member States, the Ministers encouraged the Marketing and Communication Working Group to organise this Forum regularly.
19. The Ministers acknowledged joint tourism promotional activities to create brand awareness and promote ASEAN as a region carried out by the ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism (APCT) in Sydney in 2011 through participation in major tourism consumer shows in Australia. The Ministers were pleased with the inpendingimpending establishment of APCT in Mumbai that would have important role as an ASEAN tourism marketing and promotional arm in India. ASEAN Tourism Product Development.
20. In line with the ATSP 2011-2015, the Ministers were pleased with the progress of joint collaboration in further developing four main ASEAN tourism products, namely: nature, cultural and heritage, community, and cruise and river-based tourism. The three-year work plans for these main ASEAN tourism products have been finalised.
21. The Ministers noted the efforts of ASEAN NTOs to collaborate and collectively promote ASEAN Cruise Tourism through joint participation at the Cruise Shipping Miami 2011 from 14-17 March 2011 and the ASEAN Cruise Working Group Study Mission to North Asia conducted from 30 May to 4 June 2011 to Busan, Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. The Ministers agreed to further develop the cruise potential of the region by further developing three cruise corridors namely Malacca Straits, Karimata Strait/ Java Sea/ Flores Sea and South China Sea/ Gulf of Thailand through opening new itineraries/routes, joint marketing and data collation in collaboration with the other ASEAN bodies and private sector.
22. Recognising tremendous opportunities and potential multi-faceted impact of cruise tourism on the development of ASEAN tourism, the Ministers agreed to develop concerted measures and initiatives to promote the growth of this promising travel segment. As a first step, a Workshop on cruise tourism will be organised in the next few months, involving all key players in the cruise value chain, such as the transport, maritime and immigration agencies, cruise lines and cruise associations, to identify pertinent steps to accelerate cruise development in ASEAN. ASEAN with Dialogue Partners.
23. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of ASEAN-China Centre that would promote ASEAN tourism to the Chinese market through organising tourism fairs, food festivals, and exhibitions in China.
24. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the ASEAN-Japan Centre and ASEAN-Korea Centre for their efforts in providing continuous support and technical assistance to the development of ASEAN tourism sector, including promoting ASEAN tourism to Japanese and Korean markets and strengthening product development.
25. The Ministers are pleased to note Russia’s proposal on holding a Russian Language Course for ASEAN Tour Operators in Russia as a continuation of successful program in Jakarta 2010. This program will enhance ASEAN tour operators ability in mastering Russian language and cross cultural communication skills as well as promoting ASEAN-Russia people-to people contact. ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012.
26. The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held on 8-15 January 2012 in Manado with the theme: “ASEAN Tourism for a Global Community of Nations” was attended by more than 390 international buyers and more than 920 sellers with 438 booths in ASEAN. The Ministers acknowledged the partnership with CNN International and CNBC as the Official Sponsor for ATF 2012.
27. The ATF 2013 will be convened in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 17-24 January 2013 with “ASEAN: Hand in Hand, Conquering Our Future” as the theme. Malaysia confirmed to be the host of ATF 2014.
28. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of Indonesia for the warm hospitality accorded to the delegations and the excellent arrangements made for the Meetings.
LIST OF MINISTERS
The Meeting was attended by:
(i) H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
(ii) H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;
(iii) H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia;
(iv) H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR;
(v) H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia;
(vi) H.E. Mr. Htay Aung, Vice Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;
(vii) H.E. Mr. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. Secretary of Tourism, Philippines;
(viii) H.E. Mr. S. Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
(ix) H.E. Mr. Sombat Kuruphan, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, Thailand;
(x) H.E. Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism; and
(xi) Dr. Somsak Pipoppinyo, Director, Finance, Industry and Infrastructure Directorate, representing H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN.