1. The ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers held their Third Meeting (3rd M-ATM+India) on 12 January 2012 in Manado, Indonesia, in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012 (ATF 2012). The Meeting was jointly co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, and H.E. Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Tourism, Government of India.
2. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2010-2015) at the 8th ASEAN-India Summit in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. The Ministers were gratified with the support given by the Leaders in continuing tourism consultations between ASEAN and India to promote tourism cooperation, including in the area of joint marketing, crisis communications, tourism investment, and quality tourism activities.
3. The Ministers signed the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation, which would serve as the key instrument for more action-oriented cooperation, encouraging both parties to cooperate in facilitating travel and tourist visits and further strengthen the close tourism partnership. The signing of the MOU marks the enhanced tourism collaboration between ASEAN and India through concrete activities. The Ministers tasked their senior officials to report the progress of implementation of the MOU regularly.
4. The Ministers also welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services (MAFLPAS). The Ministers encouraged their transport counterparts for an early conclusion of the ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement, given its significance for enhancing connectivity that would increase number of travels and strengthen people-to-people contact between ASEAN and India.
5. The Ministers welcomed the forthcoming ASEAN-India Car Rally to be organised in 2012. This Rally would mark another meaningful step forward in ASEAN-India tourism cooperation and at the same time reflect the existence of land route connectivity that would facilitate tourism exchange between ASEAN and India.
6. The Ministers noted the progress made in the implementation of the work plan for the Development of ASEAN-India Buddhist Pilgrimage Tourism, including the production of promotional brochure, webpage and production of documentary film on Buddhist Pilgrimage in ASEAN and India. The Ministers looked forward for more joint tourism promotion and product development activities between ASEAN and India in the future.
7. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Promotional Chapter in India based in Mumbai that would act as tourism marketing and promotion arm of ASEAN National Tourism Organisations.
8. The Ministers were pleased to note that the number of tourist arrivals between ASEAN and India had shown steady growth, with the total number of tourist arrivals from India to ASEAN recorded more than 2,4 million arrivals and ASEAN to India more than 400thousand arrivals in 2010.
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. Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Tourism, Government of India;
(iv) H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia;
(v) H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR;
(vi) H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia;
(vii) H.E. Mr. Htay Aung, Vice Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;
(viii) H.E. Mr. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. Secretary of Tourism, Philippines;
(ix) H.E. Mr. S. Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
(x) H.E. Mr. Sombat Kuruphan, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, Thailand;
(xi) H.E. Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Chairman of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism; and
(xii) Dr. Somsak Pipoppinyo, Director, Finance, Industry, and Infrastructure Directorate, representing H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN.